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Creative Vegetable Gardening [Paperback]

Joy Larkcom
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 13.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Feb 2008
Joy Larkcom believes passionately that a vegetable garden, whatever its size, can be as beautiful as a conventional garden of flowers and shrubs. In Creative Vegetable Gardening she shows how the principles of good design can be applied to a kitchen plot and how to use the vibrant textures, colours, and forms of vegetables, herbs, and fruit to create glorious effects and intriguing patterns without jeopardizing their productivity. Inspirational colour photographs of potagers and kitchen plots capture the essence of the creative approach to vegetable growing. Techniques are described in clear stages and illustrated with full-colour step-by-step artworks, while an A-Z directory includes more than 150 edible plants with key facts on their cultivation, supplemented with ideas on how to grow them to maximum ornamental effect. Beautifully illustrated, intricate plans of five types of potager - formal, informal, small, urban, and winter - add to the wealth of inspirational information.Creative Vegetable Gardening will capture the imagination and inspire all those who think that growing garden produce is mundane. From creating a full-scale potager to simply adding some new effects with vegetables, this book has something for beginners and experienced gardeners alike.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; Rev. Ed edition (15 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184533390X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845333904
  • Product Dimensions: 26.4 x 25.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 338,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Joy Larkcom is Britain's most respected vegetable garden maker and writer. She has contributed to many magazines and newspapers,
radio and TV programmes and has lectured all over the world. Her accolades include the Garden Writer of the Year award three times; Lifetime Achievement Award from the Garden Writers Guild in 2003, and the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal for horticulture in 1993.

Product Description


"This is a wonderful book for winter reading, filled with ideas for spring

and summer sowing and growing."

Rosemary Verey The Sunday Times Book Supplement

Joy Larkcom has single-handedly put vegetable gardening back on the map

Jim Buckland Country Living

"So filled with exciting and new things that - like the products of the author's kitchen - it goes down in one sitting."

David Dunbar The Sunday Times

"All aspects of creating an ornamental kitchen garden are covered, from planning to design ideas for attractive boundaries, paths, edges to beds, focal points, and features . . . There's a wealth of beautifully photographed detail - textured effects, colourful touches, planting for dramatic effect - to get

the creative juices flowing."

Andrew Blackford Kitchen Garden

"Creative Vegetable Gardening shows that veggies can be grown stylishly

in the smallest of places"

Jane Powers Irish Times

Book Description

Will be of invaluable use and inspiration to both beginners and experienced gardeners alike Contains intricate plans of informal, formal, small, urban, low-maintenance, and winter garden potagers The first book to look at growing vegetables for decorative effect as well as for culinary use Author is one of the world's leading experts on vegetables and vegetable growing Ideal for gardeners of all ages and with small, medium, or large gardens The first edition of this book sold 20,000 copies worldwide

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to refer to time and again 26 April 2002
By A Customer
This is a sumptuous book with an infectous enthusiasm for all things edible and decorative. It has become a firm favourite of mine. It offers loads of ideas of combinations, both formal and informal, which will work in gardens small and large, and the author conveys confidence in her readers' creative abilities which makes you yearn to have a go. She encourages experimentation and letting plants run to flower and seed, with disdain for the rigidly controlled potager. There is a detailed section at the back including 'planning for succession' for year round produce and beauty, and a 'directory' for detailed information on plant requirements and habits. The paper is fine quality and the wealth of pictures are gorgeous. A really lovely book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
For all of us brought up with parents or grandparents, or older friends who showed us the 'rules' of vegetable gardening, where cabbages were confined to an area out of sight of the neighbours, and onions would under no circumstances be allowed to flower, reading Joy Larkcom's book feels like a rather guilty pleasure. The idea that veg don't have to be grown as single crops in formal rows, and that perhaps a little disorder may be a good thing, feels so wrong and yet so right!
Full of beautiful pictures of vegetables (!), this book qualifies as coffee table material - it's where art and gardening meet - but is also fascinating, inspiring, and written with such unbridled and infectious enthusiasm that it's difficult to decide whether to put the book down and action some of the wonderful ideas, or continue to indulge your creative fantasies, cup of tea in hand!

I haven't rotivated all my lawns yet (though it's tempting), but I have already done some things that would make my poor old grandfather turn in his grave, such as starting to growing runner beans up through the climbing roses (could make picking interesting, we shall see) and sowing brassicas in my flower borders. Ms Larkcom's book makes you feel as if anything is possible and nothing is forbidden.

For anyone starting out with a blank canvas, there are also plenty of planting plans for all kinds of soil and location, and the section on individual vegetables is packed with useful information. Whether you need some creative inspiration, heaps of practical advice or if you just enjoy beautiful pictures, I would strongly recommend this book.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book 7 Feb 2006
If you're a creative person, and have a veg garden, then this book is for you.
It offers great inspiration on making the vegetable garden look good, getting away from the traditional straight lines, what to put with what in terms of textures and colours among other aspects, and how to create dramatic effects in the potager.
Lovely book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative Vegetable Gardening review. 23 Mar 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book to fill you with enthusiasm for growing vegetables. It shows many different ways of incorporating them into the garden as a whole. I liked it and would recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am thrilled with this book. I ordered it for my daughter as she is a keen grower of her own produce. This book is amazing, it gives fabulous ideas on planning, diagrams, beautiful colour plates, descriptions of plants, incredible plant combinations, ideas of growing methods, and not just in a conventional way. The varieties of vegetables and the use of them to make ones garden incorporate them is staggering. It is the best vegetable garden book I have come across, just bursting with ideas. It may not be a book for a complete novice, but one is sure to come up to speed with this addition in your gardening library. It is so good, the burning question is can I part with it to give to my daughter or just have to purchase another one?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Queen of Veg Gardening 29 Jun 2009
This book is an absolute inspiration for creating rather beautiful veg gardens. Packed with great photos and full of advice and tips on growing veg. I love dipping into this book in the evenings as I plan my plot.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 30 Mar 2008
For a couple of years I've toyed with the idea of making a vegetable garden. Problem is I don't really like that much "proper" vegetable gardens because if they are not perfect they are not pleasant to the eye. Last year I gave it a try, planting some tomatoes and caulifowers here and there in my flowerbeds and decided to give it a try BUT do it my way. This book showed me that there is a way to planting whatever you want to and don't have to hide it at the bottom of your garden (incidentally, my garden has no bottom, neither is big enough). Now I am full of ideas and, most important, it is not going to be a case of trial and error like last year.
It doesn't explain everything though. There is no such thing as "the final book" about anything. It is a book about making beautiful vegetable gardens. Enough for me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and in depth 8 Sep 2010
Combining both laying out your garden and growing vegetables to look beautiful, this book is really inspirational. Having become interested in permaculture over the last year or so I feel this book is step in that direction, though most of the plants recommended are annual vegetables it also recommends perennials and has an exhaustive list in the back section. The book also has a horticultural approach as to when your veg is going to give colour to the garden, as you would normally see in books for designing mixed boarders for colour through out the season. It is accessible but has a lot of detailed information too. For most of us we may not make the whole garden edible, but I'm hoping this book will continue to guide me as I turn herbaceous boarders into ornamental edible boarders.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very pretty illustrations.
Published 1 month ago by EverLearning
5.0 out of 5 stars great inspiration for growing food
This is really inspiring and easy to follow, lovely ideas and illustrations with good technical backup. Really enjoyed it and found it very useful.
Published 6 months ago by H P
5.0 out of 5 stars can't put down
A fantastic book for designing a beautiful edible garden or allotment, in my case. Joy includes the largest range of edibles I have ever encountered a must for anyone wanting to... Read more
Published on 22 Nov 2011 by rachelk
5.0 out of 5 stars Want my own vegetable plot now
This book was fab for ideas about how to grow vegetables in a veggie plot, in a garden, a mix of both. I like the photos and the narrative is excellent.
Published on 1 July 2011 by HelenaK
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book.
I have had a copy of this book and The Vegetable Garden Displayed for many years and refer them both frequently. Read more
Published on 24 April 2011 by puzzled
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, but not brilliant
some good ideas, but not as informative as other books.

the quantity of pictures would make this a great gift for a gardener.
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by Mr. A. L. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars book review
excellent book - full of photos, background info, detailed examples of what plants to use in different locations. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2010 by Potager Pete
4.0 out of 5 stars Mum Loved It
I had a flick though and the pictures were lovely, the whole feel of the book was that it was interesting and well laid out - I am not a gardener though, and it didnt hold my... Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2010 by Al_ D
4.0 out of 5 stars Gardening for Simpletons
Having just created a very small potager;this book was fabulous for showing just what could be done in a small space and how pretty it could look. Read more
Published on 17 April 2009 by Alex B
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