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Allotment and Garden Guide: A Monthly Guide to Better Wartime Gardening Hardcover – 1 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Sabrestorm Publishing (1 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955272351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955272356
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Twigs Way is a professional garden historian, author and freelance lecturer. Her media work includes Channel 4's 'Lost Gardens', Look East (BBC East), guest presenting for Radio 4 and various newspaper commissions including Cambridgeshire Evening News and The Independent on Sunday. Recent publications include 'Garden Gnomes' and 'Allotments' for Shire, 'A Crocodile in the Fernery: An A-Z of Animals in the Garden', and 'Virgins Weeders and Queens: A History of Women in the Garden'. She is currently working on with Mike Brown on a second wartime gardening book, 'Dig For Victory - Gardens & Gardening in Wartime Britain', due to be published by Sabrestorm in 2010. Twigs lives in Cambridge.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Roberton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This really hits the spot as far as I am concerned. I have always been interested in the Home Front during the last war and have read much about what really went on back home during 1939-45. Twigs Way has put together a fascinating book and her introduction is well written and enjoyable to read. Basically the book is a reproduction of the 12 monthly leaflets that were published during 1945, the Allotment & Garden Guide as issued by the Ministry of Agriculture. These guides are still viable today, even if some of the chemicals used at that time are no longer available today. The whole idea of growing your own has now become quite 'fashionable' so this book would be invaluable for today's vegetable gardener.

When you go through the book yopu discover many little things that make you realise that the war was a time for pulling your belt in, your socks up and work all the hours possible - you would need to as the recommended size for a plot was 90feet by 30feet, huge by today's standards. The only way to get a seed catologue was to order one, the seed companies were not allowed to send out their brochure willy nilly to every Tom, Dick or Harry. Growing flowers was also a no no. It was all about growing food for the whole 12 months and reading this book I can well believe that everyone who followed the leaflets to the letter would have more than enough vegetables to feed a large family throughout the year.

I love this book - reading it really shows the spirit of the home front at work - Brilliant book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wiltshire Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Having just read Digging for Victory: Gardens and Gardening in Wartime Britain which constantly refers to the wartime leaflets issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, I was delighted to find this companion volume which reproduces the monthly series of guides issued during the final months of WWII and the first few of peacetime.

Twigs Way introduces these with a delightful context setting summary which sets out the key aims of these leaflets, the issues of the time and the changes the Dig for Victory campaign heralded such as the increased use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

There then follows each of the monthly guides with a separate one page introduction. The guides themselves are surprisingly readable, written in a 'we're all in this together' style. War references still abound even into the peace time months, where gardeners are still waging battles with pesky pets.

The need for planning is constantly emphasised, probably because there was a distinct danger of food shortages even when the war ended. There's also the constant exhortation to keep actively hoeing to keep the weeds down.

Any gardener today could largely still make use of these guides, though they may find some of the seed and fruit varieties are no longer available and some of the practices such as using nicotine sprays and soot are either illegal or very much frowned upon.

A delightful slice of nostalgia and recent history, attractively presented for an easy read over a weekend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blake Paine VINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The previous reviewer has done a far better job than I could hope to, so I recommend their review to you.

For my part, I found this book to be both very informative and also strangely moving, knowing what the original guides were produced for in 1945. I'm sure the information within could still be used to help grow your own food if times become bad. Oil will eventually run out, and the plastic bags my vegetables arrive in will be no more, so I may need it. But I sincerely hope not.

The original images are pure austerity. The printing looks cheap (I mean in the originals, not this book) because it was there to try to help the country out of dire peril, not look good.

There is a modern interpretation and history of the twelve Guides as an introduction and informative comments on each month's issue throughout the book.

For anyone interested in life in Britain at the close of World War Two, for any keen gardener, and indeed for an ignoramus like me who couldn't grow a weed, this is a delightful find which I'm happy to recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I adored this book. It took me back to a time that my father has often talked to me about. After I had finished reading it I gave it to my dad and he loves it too. 'Those were the days' was his comment as he browsed through the chapters. It's filled with no-nonsense tips and advice, a lot of which is still relevant today. Fabulous fun and a great little book to own and refer back to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Wickenden on 9 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
A fantastic book even if you have only a slight interest in gardening. A compilation of the Allotment and Garden Guides that were issued from January 1945 onwards looking at what you should be doing to make the most of your land during the war. In some cases it was an essential way of life to survive.

It is just one of those books that you can pick up and just read a few paragraphs but feel that with every visit you learn something new. For serious gardeners or for someone who just needs to know the odd thing to improve their garden you will find it within the covers of this book

The book is well produced and will delight many. Excellent!
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