22 August 2009

The Reluctant Gardener

If you are a frequent reader, you will know that I have a love of all books Ethelind Fearon. Today I offer up the last in her “reluctant” series, The Reluctant Gardener. As with all of her "reluctant" titles, Fearon combines biting humor with sound advice.

“To be a real un-gardener needs a bit of skill and determination and I hope to help you with a bit of both, so you can continue playing at horticulture with pleasure and smile at those earnest hard-working folk who for all human purposes are as good as lost. Just let them go their busy ways and do not attempt to compete."
For Fearon, gardening, like entertaining and cooking should be done with whimsy and joy. She sweats the details and then reminds you not to sweat the details. Every garden should have a plan...

but it should have a good plan...

No matter how convenient it may be don't toss the compost out the kitchen door!

As a vegetable gardener who is about to embark on potato digging, I feel I should have read this passage sooner.

“You would be surprised how much of the grim toil undergone by the allotment holder is unnecessary. It is just a self-martyrdom inaugurated by Adam and hallowed by custom and tradition ever since. But you will find:

a. That half the things you sweat over are better bought than grown.
b. The ones that are better grown can be grown much more easily than you thought, and
c. Quite a lot of them will serve two purposes, thereby cutting out one operation, one ache, one moan.

Who wants to grow potatoes anyway?

Well, I wanted to grow them, and I also wanted to read Ethelind Fearon. In the end, I hope to do both, in a rather stylish hat.

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