Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Garlic! and a book review

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 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
Speaking of books - I was given a couple oh about a month, maybe 2 ago, from The Aurum Publishing Group to review and naughty me I completely forgot. You'll most likely have seen them in other bloggers' blogs by now but better late than never eh??

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 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 
BN13 3RB. 

* 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 :)




  1. I love that it's time to plant garlic as well, especially as it's easy to plant your own every year. I've heard that it very quickly adapts to your own particular location. Glad you are feeling positive at the moment Carrie.

  2. I'm feeling like a happy bunny CJ and all the more for a wee comment from you xxx

  3. Carrie,
    It's time to plant garlic here to and I need to get going! I'm glad you so joyful and I hope it stays with you for a long time!

  4. Must admit I reviewed this book and it wasn't really for me I'm afraid. but it seems lots of other people like it!

  5. Kath - even though i had 2 hours of broken sleep last night a feel fab today!!! So thank you for your hope, it's worked :) Now girl, get planting xx

  6. Sue - i do like it aesthetically and the general ethos but I can see from the content point of view that it isn't so fab for us that have been doing allotmenting for years. Must dander over and read your review x

  7. That is why I always fail with garlic -- too much water! So thanks for the tip :-)

  8. I love it anytime there are smiley faces in your posts.

    The allotment book sounds like a winner especially with the holidays coming up.

    Last, but least, I'm also a fan of garlic. I don't grow my own, but it's such a wonderful addition to almost any dish and it's very good for you:~)


Please leave a little nugget of happiness in the form of a comment - don't forget to put your name at the end if using 'anonymous' setting x