I love garlic, garlic, garlic-y garlic :) And we have just planned a new batch for next year from some of this years bulbs - oh the circle of life :) I am in such a cheery mood as I write this as there is something so incredibly exciting about the start of a new year on the plots, new hope, new adventures to be had...plus this garlic is our own strain (it being grown and replanted 4 times now on our plot) - what's not to love?? Okay, so the weather is stinky, really quite depressing but close the blinds, put on the daylight simulation bulb and read a book or a blog :) How many smiley faces are going to be in the post!! :)
|Photo courtesy of Andrew's smartphone|
I will do one now and one later in the week.... I want to make sure you know this - these are my opinions alone.
This one is 'The Allotment Planner' by Matthew Appleby (with a forward by the ever fabulous Alys Fowler). You can buy it in all good bookshops and online retailers but why not get money off and use my coupon code?? I'll share it a bit further down the page...
First off this book feels beautiful, the texture of the front cover, the great quality paper and font, the photography and little drawings - oh I love it. Plus I am a complete sucker for elasticated straps of which that pink line you see above is.
It is divided up into each month (complete with lovely quotes - I love a good quote) and what you really ought to be thinking about and maybe giving a go, with space at the end of each chapter for your own notes. Plus each month has a little list of things you could be sowing or planting or harvesting now (like Monty does at the end of each Gardeners' World show and you find yourself going 'Ohhh yes..').
Throughout it is drenched in tips and ideas about such necessities as how to plant, how to get the best out of your space and your soil but also things you may not have considered, like visiting other gardens, thinking of wildlife, taking on a new skill or even simply learning to enjoy your plot as a social space. It's not all work and no play! It's most certainly not a dry book as the eye is drawn all over to photos, drawings, tip boxes etc...
I love the sections about how to make your produce into something super tasty, create a stylish plot; a fun place to be for you, your friends and family and wildlife! Oh there are some really good present ideas ie. old gardening tools and books, making jam, Christmas wreaths and a piece on how to blog and take photos!
For someone just starting out this book would be ideal. For people like Andrew and I there are things in it that we needed to be reminded off and the overall feeling of 'have fun' comes across so clearly that I really do see this coming year as less of a chore and hard work (battling the insects and getting low due to failures) and more of a gift. What joy it is to be able to grow your own and share the bounty!! However, I feel we are a good bit more advanced at allotmenting and the information would suit us better if it was in much more detail - but that's why we have so many books on different aspects.
I do recommend this book but more for it's ethos and how pretty it is. There are parts that simply do not apply to us; we are not allowed to have chickens or bees, ponds or to make money from our produce but it is still interesting to read about. The part about joining your Allotment Committee made me laugh out loud - that was a disaster for us! But I am sure it will be used on the Gault plot this coming year and also as a sweet coffee table book to dip in and out off - even if it's just for the photos or those quotes....
To order 'The Allotment Planner' at the discounted price of £12.00 including p&p* (RRP: £14.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG34.
Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to:
Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department,
Littlehampton Book Services,
PO Box 4264,
Worthing, West Sussex
* Please quote the offer code APG34 and include your name and address details.
* UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
I'll put this info in a box at the side too so you can see it at all times - maybe this could be a great Christmas Gift?! and with money off you can't go wrong :)