Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book revew

Carol Klein has a useful book of propagation techniques called ¨Grow Your Own Garden¨.

Propagation is important for those of us who are gardening with limited financial means and would like to have an abundance of plants without spending a fortune at nurseries and garden centers. She covers everything from seed scattering to root cuttings and mentions specific plants she´s spent years propagating in her Devon property and nursery. Quite detailed photos and instructions clarify the intimidating and sometimes confusing processes of seed saving, taking cuttings, and root division and their subsequent transformation into new plants. Her enthusiasm is unmistakable and I found her prose to be both engaging and practical. I would recommend the book and am itching to get myself a potting bench set up.

From the section on seeds in the book:
Collecting your own is always better than buying seeds that may have been stored for some time, and in some cases entered a dormant state.  Throughout autumn, as the brown paper bags of precious booty accumulate, the sense of anticipation starts to build.  During the bleakness of winter, as seeds are cleaned and packeted, the names scribbled on the bags summon up pictures of the plants that will eventually emerge.  You can almost feel the satin of their petals, the soft or shiny texture of their leaves, nearly smell the perfume of their flowers and see their quivering stamens.

This is as close as gardening gets to the earth´s heartbeat.  No matter how many times you sow seeds, the process is just as magical.

Unfortunately, it seems she had a run in with new neighbors and has had to close the nursery and garden, which seems a shame after 30 years and several gardening awards.

But you can still see the wonderful garden, as her BBC series ¨Life in a Cottage Garden¨ is available in 6 installments on youtube.

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