I was delighted to find this little volume modestly priced on Amazon Warehouse recently. What is not made clear elsewhere is that it is a facsimile of a Michael Joseph publication from 1951. The book comprises Vita Sackville-West's very popular gardening articles for The Observer and the 1998 Oxenwood Press reprint I have contains many black and white photographs of the author's own garden - Sissinghurst. A big Vita enthusiast and an amateur gardener myself, I love reading her on gardening as so many aspects of her character come into play. She is by turns matter-of-fact, poetic, amusing, impecunious, defender of the common man and woman, elitist - very knowledgeable and extremely good at describing plants and their situations as one would expect of a writer of her calibre. The style is not so much redolent of the date of first publication, rather it betrays the author's Edwardian beginnings as it does appear rather antique even for 1951 - but it is anachronistic in a good way. In these frequently anodine times, what a pleasure it is to meet with Vita's strong and definite ideas, her obvious enthusiasm for her subject combined with a great and surprising modesty permeating all. Vita speaks directly down the years to all gardeners; she remains my all-time favourite gardening writer. Curiously, given the extent to which Vita is so firmly fixed within an orbit of the privileged upper classes,she comes across as the most human of gardening writers - she draws the reader close, confides in them and longs to share the wonders and exasperations of trying to manage so unruly a thing as nature. The ideal present for a young female gardener, this is an informative and accessible volume by a writer who - it should not be forgotten - was commercially highly successful in her day, a most interesting woman and co-creator of arguably the best garden in England. Utterly gorgeous and very worth having.