Gotta Garden

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Garden Reading: The Curious Gardener's Almanac by Niall Edworthy

What a delight Niall Edworthy’s The Curious Gardener’s Almanac is! Recently released here in the USA, we can now benefit from and enjoy Mr. Edworthy’s inquiring mind. Because he is right, you see, we do want to know all these things! We just didn’t know where to find it, how to ask for it, or in some cases, that it even was a possibility.

(Image courtesy of Penguin Group USA. )

Here in one tidy volume are all the answers to those questions other books don’t answer. Tied together and arranged by seasons are tips for gardeners, lists of plants for certain situations (or even categories), relevant quotes, uncommon facts (with some amusing comments from the author), recipes, lists of all sorts of things and anything else you can imagine wanting to know relating to gardening.

Maybe you have the habit, as I do, of turning down the page when you read something you know you’ll want to remember or come back to. What I didn’t realize was that the entire book is a “page turn downer”! You can see in the picture that nearly every page is marked in my book (just so you’ll know you don’t have to do that!).

I love the feel of this book. It’s smaller and fits in my hand nicely. There’s a ribbon for marking your place and, here, have a look at how charming it is inside.

Although Mr. Edworthy resides in England, this wonderful volume will be of equal interest and use to all of us “across the pond”. Did you know (I didn’t) that “Daffodil bulbs can last up to eighty years” (page 119)? Or, that “Prince Charles, AKA the Duke of Cornwall, is paid one daffodil a year as rent for unattended lands on the Scilly Isles” (page 115)?

I was surprised to learn that “ten million Britons, one-sixth of the population, are said to be dedicated gardeners, while roughly 90 million Americans engage in some form of gardening” (Introduction…which you must read…page 11). Think of that!

There are so many marvelous quotes in the book; however, given that I have daffodils on my mind, I did especially enjoy the quote from Margaret Atwood, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” (page 39). We gardeners, of course, know the bliss of working in our soil after waiting all winter.

You won’t want to miss “The five worst things about spring gardening” but you’ll have to read the book! As I mentioned, do read the introduction. It’s very funny and will give you such insight into Niall Edworthy as well as great appreciation for his efforts in bringing together all this information into one place. And, yes, there is an index.

You know how much I love my gardening books. I am so pleased to add this one to my collection and I know you will be also. We'll have great fun (when you get yours) entertaining others with all the things we've learned. Perhaps we'll make mint juleps (page 107)!

Many thanks to Penguin Books for such a delightful read!


gardenmomma (Chris) said...

I just got mine from Amazon this week. I like the way it feels, too, although I haven't started reading it yet. I also got a copy of The Way We Garden Now. Same size book and looks like it will be a good read. Enjoy! Oh, I know about turning those corners down! Chris

Annie in Austin said...

Mine don't have turned down corners - but look out for post-its torn into skinny strips sticking out like porcupine quills.

Sounds like a fun book, GottaGarden!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

barbara said...

Guess I need to add one more book to my shopping list. Sounds scrumptious.

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

I don't have one but after reading your post, I'll have to get one.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Gotta get that book!

Gotta make sure folks like you with dog ear addiction stay away from public libraries!

(Just'd never do that to a library book, right? I'm waiting....say it...or I'll put a note about this in your library record.)

kate said...

Hi GottaGarden,

This sounds like a wonderful read ... yet another book to add to my gardening book shelf. The illustrations look great!

Connie said...

Thanks for the heads up on this book. It looks like my kind of garden book. :-)

Gotta Garden said...

Hi Chris: I will have to check that other one out...can't have too many garden books! We just can't help ourselves, right? I hope you enjoy them also. Thanks for coming by!

Hey there Annie: You know, that's a good idea. I do that for cookbooks...don't know why that hasn't occurred to me for garden books! Thanks, Annie!

Oh, Barbara, you do! I like a nice stack of books as winter approaches...hope you like it, too! Glad you came over!

Well, chigiy, I hope you do...and I hope you are as amused by it as I am! I like knowing all these interesting bits of information! It's especially good if there's someone around so you can pause, look at them and say, "Did you know...." (helps if they are cooperative!!) Take care and thanks for coming by...

Oh gosh, if I get a note in my library record, I'll never get that latest James Patterson book! Now, Jill, rest assured I only mar/bend/eat over/generally abuse my own books! I'm glad you stopped over!

Hi Kate: They are very sweet...rather whimsical, which I like. Good to see you!

I think you'll like it, Connie! It's not your typical book, which is nice. Thanks for coming by!

jodi said...

I love this book too! It's just a charming, informative and entertaining read, with lots of good info and lively writing. So many good books that don't get noticed--I think blog reviews can be really good for these volumes, don't you?

Barbara said...

After having seen a comment in Kylee's blog (Our little acre) my husband tried to get this booklet last week in Washington D.C. but he failed. Luckily I found it yesterday in Dublin in a big bookshop and I saw that it was released in England already last year. During my flight home I started reading and I must say I liked it very much...also the nice little drawings and the wise quotations of "famous" gardener/people.I think it is a book that one can read and read and read again...and it is still delightful!
Regards from cold and wintery Switzerland!

Kylee said...

I see you're another happy reader of this book! My mom ordered six copies as gifts for friends. :-)

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