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The Great Vegetable Plot [Hardcover]

Sarah Raven , Jonathan Buckley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Oct 2005

'A vegetable plot is a beautiful thing to make, with the extra bonus of producing the best possible things to eat. If you get it right, the whole place can become your market, your haven and your playground.'

So says Sarah Raven in The Great Vegetable Plot, an indispensable practical guide to creating the perfect vegetable garden with the minimum of fuss and effort. By eschewing the timely and unnecessary steps that can frustrate even the most patient gardener, Sarah's principles of speed and simplicity can help you to craft a plot that perfectly suits your needs - and lets you enjoy fresh, home-grown crops all year round.

Sarah's straight-forward approach focuses on easy and rewarding vegetables that don't require huge amounts of time or space, meaning you don't need to devout hours to slavishly tending your plot. Beautifully illustrated with over 250 photographs from award-winning photographer Jonathan Buckley, this inspiring guide is ultimately all about pleasure - from the enjoyment you'll get from planting and growing your own produce to the priceless reward of having a wealth of fresh vegetables just outside your door.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1st Edition edition (20 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563488174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563488170
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 21 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Raven is a broadcaster, teacher and writer. She has made regular appearances on Gardeners' World, the BBC's flagship gardening programme; she runs her own cookery and gardening school at Perch Hill in East Sussex; and she is the author of The Cutting Garden, Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (which was the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year 2008) and Sarah Raven's Complete Christmas.


Product Description

Review

For cooks and gardeners who appreciate fresh produce but are short on time, "The Great Vegetable Plot" is an indispensable companion. Stunningly illustrated by award-winning garden photographer Jonathan Buckley.

Book Description

The ultimate guide to creating a fuss-free kitchen garden

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike 31 Aug 2007
By Mike
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book on vegetable gardening, but not for complete beginners, as it does not have step-by-step instructions on how to set up a plot. For those starting out I would heartily recommend Joy Larkcom's superb 'Grow Your Own Vegetables' (very comprehensive but no photographs) coupled with Dr Hessayon's 'Expert' book on vegetable gardening (very well laid out but a little out of date on vegetable varieties).

But Sarah Raven's book is excellent in other ways. The colour photography is absolutely superb and will spur you on to try and grow something just as good! There is also a really excellent alphabetical section on vegetables, which stresses how important it is to choose the best varieties for taste, colour and texture. She describes her personal favourites, and also has a lot of information on propagation, planting times, successional sowing, special growing requirements and harvesting for each vegetable. The section on herbs is excellent, with lots of advice on which varieties, for example, of basil and parsley are well worth growing and which are not. For potatoes and tomatoes, she also has specific growing information for each recommended variety, for example 'Pink Fir Apple' potatoes and 'Gardener's Delight' tomatoes. As she is a former chef at River Cafe, this advice is hugely valuable.

In the rest of the book there are comprehensive sections on specific vegetables that are commonly grown, including tomatoes (very informative), peas (including growing in guttering for an early crop), potatoes, carrots, beans, etc.

This is a superb book which I use throughout the year, and is especially recommended for those who are keen to know which vegetable varieties to grow for taste, colour and texture rather than purely for size and yield.
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102 of 106 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Picture Perfect but Slightly Lost the Plot 15 April 2006
By vivsy
Format:Hardcover
I picked this book up as I was attracted to the fantastic pictures of Sarah Raven's enviable garden. These pictures, showing her bountiful harvets and attractively planted crops, certainly encouraged me to develop my own, much more inferior vegetable plot. But for me, it is too much of a glossy lifestyle book than a step by step guide. I got a pretty good idea of life chez Raven, with descriptions of how integral the garden is to family life, accompanied by pictures including their rustic outdoor pizza oven and artistic arrangements of borlotti beans. I found the layout confusing and heavily interspered with such pictures. Maybe that's because I am impatient and I just want to look up how to grow lettuce, with diagrams maybe, and advice on what to do if something goes wrong, which for beginners like me is likely. I'm sure there's lots of good advice in there, if you want to read it like a novel rather than a reference manual that you can dip in and out of. I have found that for growing individual vegetables, following the seed packet instructions is just as good if not better as its instructions are more succinct. This book for me will only really provide guidance on the overall arrangement of a vegetable garden when I get to the stage where I want it to look pretty and I have the time to sit down and read the text without being distracted by the pictures.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars small gardens 6 July 2008
Format:Hardcover
I have found this book very useful for suggesting varieties of seeds to grow, spacing, crop rotation and suggestions for vegetables I would never have thought of. I only have 6square metres of veg garden which limits what you can grow and have found this full of useful tips about maximising use of space. Don't be put off by the fact that she has a huge amount of space it is full of good advice for those just starting out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Vegetable Plot 19 Mar 2010
By Sir Barnabas VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
As a keen amateur allotmenteer I was very pleased to recieve The Great Vegetable Plot as a gift from a kind relative. The book itself is a really nicely presented guide to growing your own and it has all the information that one would expect, including an A to Z of vegetables and how to grow them, a guide to companion planting and crop rotation.

Although the information contained within the book is very good and it is an excellent reference, I was slightly disappointed to find that there were no recipes ideas for your produce. However, when I came to write this review I noticed that the author has a separate Garden Cookbook, so that explains the lack of recipes in this volume, a bit of a shame really.

Another minor issue I have with the book is that, although it's obviously written as a reference book, given its glossy nature and price tag you're unlikely to want to take it out into the garden or allotment where it is likely to get grubby quickly.

Overall, a nice book that I'm sure would be appreciated by any up and coming vegetable gardener. However, if you're looking for a reference guide that you can take to the allotment without worrying too much about it getting muddy and that contains some nice recipe ideas then I would recommend something like Allotment Gardening: An Organic Guide for Beginners.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really inspirational book 15 Nov 2008
Format:Hardcover
I grow my own and have a number of books on the subject. I love this book mainly because I want to be Sarah Raven. Having said that I refer to it often, beacuse I find it well written and easy to follow. There are lots of books which make veg growing appear far more difficult than it is but this one is written more from the have a go school of thought, which I definitely agree with. If you are a novice gardener then there are better books but if you have gardened a bit and want to try some veg then this book with its fab pics and chatty style is a really inspirational and makes you want to get outside and create a plot to be proud of.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Sarah Raven
Excellent. I bought this as a present for Christmas but will be purchasing one for myself. I love everything Sarah Ravan.
Published 4 months ago by Juanita
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for all vegetable growers.
I first got this book out of my local library and \i liked it so much that I bought it through Amazon.
Published 6 months ago by rosie keaney
5.0 out of 5 stars great
I found this book very easy to read and understand with lots of very good tips and advice very good value
Published 9 months ago by banios
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for gardeners
We found this book in the local library and loved it so much we had to get our own copy. It contains some interesting information which helps with our planning for next years... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mrs Z. Armitage
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasured book full of glourious photos and advice.
Alongside Sarah Ravens wonderful grow your own cut flowers this has got me wanting to grow veg and sarah's view on why we should grow veg is spot on for me anayway - the pleasure... Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2012 by Arthur P
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
Having been sucked into the Sarah Raven phenomenon by one of her recipe books, I thought I'd give her gardening book a try.

This is a great book. Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2010 by Hel S
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
We recently bought a house with a vegetable garden and as an enthusiastic but clueless novice gardener I needed some advice. Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2009 by Fiona Lake
4.0 out of 5 stars a good book for a complete beginner
This book is not what I after (I was after a book that is concentrating more on the structure of a vegetable plot). Read more
Published on 4 April 2006 by M. parry
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