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Knave of Spades: Growing Pains of a Gardener [Kindle Edition]

Alan Titchmarsh
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
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Book Description

When Alan left school at fifteen little was expected of him. An 'O' level in art is not the most obvious passport to success, but in the ancient greenhouses of the local nursery Mrs T's little lad found his spiritual home, learning his trade and the strange ways of human nature.

But the comfort and familiarity of his home in the Yorkshire Dales would soon be left behind as he journeyed south to college and then to Kew Gardens where he encountered rare plants collected by Captain Cook and a varied assortment of eccentrics in the world's most famous garden.

Spells as a teacher and editor followed, until fate took a hand when he landed a job on BBC's Nationwide as their gardening presenter. His childhood dream of inheriting the mantle of gardening god Percy Thrower was beginning to come true...

From the first faltering steps in radio and television, to a career in broadcasting and writing, Knave of Spades is a wonderfully warm and self-deprecatingly honest memoir. Alan Titchmarsh shows us just why he has become not only our favourite gardener, but a popular writer and broadcaster too.

Product Description


Alan Titchmarsh talks about his career with warmth, humour and an enthusiasm that never wanes (Woman's Weekly)

This book is a sheer delight and the humour and wry, self-effacing descriptive energy makes it a total page turner. (The Sun)

Book Description

Warm, funny memoir from bestseller Alan Titchmarsh who takes us through his life as a gardener's apprentice to a well-loved TV presenter.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 538 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (17 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003OIB9Z0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,780 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Originally trained at Hertfordshire College of Horticulture and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Alan Titchmarsh is the author of over 40 books about gardening, including How to be a Gardener Book 1: Back to Basics, the fastest-selling of all time in the genre, and the bestselling The Kitchen Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg. He writes for BBC Gardeners' World Magazine, and is gardening correspondent for the Daily Express and Sunday Express. He has presented Gardeners' World, the annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show and Nature of Britain, and has his own daily chatshow and presents his own show on Radio 2.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another dig with a gentleman. 9 April 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read Alan Titchmarh's previous autobiographical offerings, Trowel and Error(which I have reviewed) and Nobbut a Lad: A Yorkshire Childhood (which I have not for some reason!). Knave of Spades continues, the story; the current one, past adventures and misdemeanours (of which there are few) and childhood experiences of gardening.

Gardening is the major theme of this book, even though like a good Yorkshire man he goes off the point, for example the Last Night of the Proms and balancing on 2 chairs - you will have to read it to find out about the reference. Everything comes back to gardening.

It is a delightful tale of where it all began for one of our most famous television gardeners. Stories of his childhood and what was obviously a struggle to convince his parents that gardening was a `trade' and it would go somewhere. His move into the local Ilkely council department which dealt with the gardening side of the town - decorating the town hall to name one. Alan recounts the characters he met while working there, as well as referring to his personal life as well, as his development with girls was not blossoming as well as the flowers under his care.

From this Alan moves us through the rest of his gardening/horticulture career, college and interestingly Kew Gardens, all stories smattered with tales of characters but practical information about gardening and a lot about plants, and their Latin names. Not being a gardener of any sorts, not even a window box, this bit I found dull, but that is only because of my lack of knowledge on the subject. Not because of the writing, this is well done.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knave of Spades 30 Oct. 2009
By Mazda
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As always Alan Titchmarsh makes reading a book a wonderful delight. As you read you can hear Alan saying the words to you. He has such a lovely way of expressing things that you can relate to each and every thing he writes about. As yet I have not found any of his books to dislike. They are all great and Knave of Spades is yet another great book by him.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read 4 Nov. 2009
Naturally written and very interestingly expressed, especially when you are of a similar age and also fond of gardening. A sincerely written book by a down to earth author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knave of Spades by Alan Titchmarsh 3 Jan. 2010
A lovely book, just the thing to relax with over the festive season, a witty and gentle piece of prose.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Utter pleasure 13 July 2010
I read and enjoyed greatly AP's earlier work "nobbut a Lad". This latest of how his career has developed after leaving school is fascinating and pleasurable in the extreme. There are many funny parts and it is a book very hard to put down. Recommended wholeheartedly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book 11 Jan. 2010
Once again Alan has produced another great book, I have all his others and although the 3rd in his autobiography, still a joy to read
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent entertaining 10 Jan. 2010
bought for my mum for Cmas cos she watches his show - she loved it and read it every day - lots of interesting facts about his early life too - going to borrow it
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knave of Spades 12 Oct. 2009
The Knave of Spades is up to the usual high standard of writing by Alan Titchmarsh. A very interesting and entertaining book about his life. Can't wait for him to write another book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The only thing I don't like is the slightly nudge-nudge title
Very pleasant, with plenty of humour and no boasting. The only thing I don't like is the slightly nudge-nudge title, which gives the wrong impression.
Published 29 days ago by Stellar
5.0 out of 5 stars what a man
Published 6 months ago by fluffy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful page turner
A joy to read. Had me laughing out loud many times. Would recommend this book to anyone who was born in the same decade as Alan, appreciates gardening and the English way of life. Read more
Published 7 months ago by W. Wordsworth
5.0 out of 5 stars I like the book it give good read and will not hesitate getting new...
I like the book a lot it was a good read .I will not hesitate getting one of your book again I was a laugh in some parts
Published 8 months ago by erik isbister
5.0 out of 5 stars Book review
Brilliant book, glad I chose it, will definitely read more of Alan's book, he is so good and very entertaining,
Published 9 months ago by Mr. John Warman
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant read
Enjoyable read, if a little rambly!Felt more like listening to a conversation, which had its own plus sides, but made it feel less dynamic and lacking in pace and direction. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
I bought this for my Nan for xmas at her request. She loves it. Great price too. Would recommend to others.
Published 17 months ago by mrs laura abbott
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable, light reading.
Yet another present. Have bought a few of Mr.Titchmarsh's novels,interesting and humorous, with references to Northern Life in lovely Yorkshire.
Published 19 months ago by Janet Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a good read
shame we do not have more british writers like titchmarsh very informative, most of his work is very readable i would like to see more of his books but he is a very busy man with... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kenneth Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Seems to be written in an engaging style, I expect the person it was bought for will enjoy it and the print size will be appreciated
Update: the recipient did enjoy the book... Read more
Published on 6 Jan. 2013 by Ian Mclaren
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