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Trowel and Error Paperback – 14 Apr 2003

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Trowel and Error + When I Was a Nipper: The Way We Were in Disappearing Britain + Nobbut A Lad. A Yorkshire Childhood
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, London; Reprint edition (14 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340765437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340765432
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Trowel and Error is described as a "touch of the memoirs" by the author. Alan Titchmarsh is now a national institution; with his characteristic good humour and charm, he is unquestionably the country's number-one television gardener and presenter with even an unlikely reputation as a sex symbol (a reputation that started as a joke). Apart from his considerable gardening acumen, of course, he has also proved to be a novelist of genuine ability, with such books as Mr MacGregor and Animal Instincts.

Communication is, needles to say, his special skill, and it was to be expected that Trowel and Error (the groan-inducing pun is all part of the Titchmarsh armoury), would be revealing and evocative. Titchmarsh announced to school friends of the age of 10 that he would be the next Percy Thrower, although those ambitions were, he tells us, fudged in some uncomfortable encounters with the opposite sex (Titchmarsh always picked girls who were taller than him, and the relationships didn't last). In fact his Yorkshire childhood in the 1950s is one of the most purely enjoyable parts of the book, with his stamping ground of Ilkley Moor the seat of his passionate love for nature. His first experiences as a gardener at the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew are full of the kind of quirky incident that makes his writing appealing. As his fame grew, Titchmarsh began rubbing shoulders with the likes of Nelson Mandela Julia Roberts and the Queen, and such encounters are highly diverting.

Many a book conceals a rampant ego behind an "aw, shucks" manner, but Titchmarsh comes across as a genuinely nice guy--one who is self-deprecating. This is a truly engaging (and often very funny) autobiography. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

The engaging, witty and insightful memoirs of best-loved gardener and presenter, Alan Titchmarsh. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 May 2003
Format: Paperback
I am not really interested in gardening programmes but do love Ground Force. I vaguely remember Percy Thrower, but Alan Titchmarsh will always be the TV gardener in my lifetime! From the very beginning the book kept enthralled, enchanted and entertained. The funny little anecdotes, are good as he takes you from the very beginning up until present day. All the characters he has met in his life have made an impact on him, and he has learnt so much! So did I. Especially on how long he had been in TV and the work, on books and magazines! He even mentions all of his fans, that follow him, have all his books and even stitch them for him! It was nice to have read these in separate articles and then see some references to them in the book. I wish he could have added a few more little anecdotes to the section about Ground Force, I bet there are some tales to tell there! Nevertheless the book has everything, the main ingredient being warm Yorkshire humour!!!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Ralph on 28 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've had my eye on Trowel and Error for a few weeks now, being a fan of Alan Titchmarch for his expertise in gardening.
I've previously read his novel "Our Dad" and enjoyed it immensely, and obviously mentioned Trowel and Error so many times my husband bought it for my birthday recently. I haven't finished it yet but what I have read so far can only be described as "written with an honesty and humour that deserves the 5 stars I've given it".
It has brought back so many of my own childhood memories and I look forward to sharing his further exploits as I read through the pages. I've so much confidence in his ability as a writer, I know I will enjoy what's to come so I've now ordered all of his other published novels that I know about: The Lighthouse Keeper, Animal Instincts, Mr MacGregor, I eagerly await their arrival. Once read I will be posting further reviews on them. Well done Alan, your an inspiration to people, that despite what other people say to you or their opinions of you, you can succeed in anything you choose to put your mind to.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Steve MacBeath on 8 Oct. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Alan Titchmarsh has at last moved from writing gardening books and works of fiction to penning his autobiography.
This popular and very down to earth gardener and TV presenter writes that he always has been passionate about gardening and that at the age of 10 announced to his friends that one day he would be the successor to Percy Thrower. Little did he imagine that this would indeed be the case.
The book starts with the fun he had as a child in Yorkshire surrounded by family, his unhappy schooldays when on leaving he was told he would not amount to much and then on to his first job as a gardener. He then worked his way through horticultural college and landed a job at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.
From there he became Deputy Editor of Amateur Gardening soon expanding his media role both as a gardening expert and a presenter which he combines in top-rated shows such as Ground Force and Gardener’s World.
He has written over 30 gardening books as well as several best selling novels.
This autobiography is entertaining and just what his many fans have been waiting for.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Diane M on 27 April 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this autobiography an excellent read with wonderful photos including some of his family which he likes to keep away from the media. The book starting with his childhood in Yorkshire and his progression into a career in gardening and finally TV where he also took part in programmes such as Songs of Praise proves to be very interesting. The whole of it including the headings to the chapters brings out a sensitive side to his nature. Added to this is the usual wit which if you watch his gardening programmes is part of him. A worthwhile buy and it kept me occupied in hospital.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By marshy on 30 Mar. 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
Enjoyable,easy reading, informative, humourous and interesting, I am now looking to purchase some more of Mr Titchmarshs books.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Poochesnpuss on 3 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I could not put the book down. Coming from the West Riding myself - just up the road at Silsden - I found it especially entertaining and very nostalgic. I know the pubs in Addingham - my Dad used to live there too. I could relate to so much in this book and I felt as if I had a kindred spirit in Alan. As a Yorkshire woman who has lived in various parts of the country - now settled in Suffolk - I knew exactly where he was coming from in so many ways. It was a real pleasure to lose myself in the pages - I can't wait to go on to his novels as soon as possible.
Alan Titchmarsh and Geoffrey Smith - my favourite men!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By p r copeland on 4 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up in the 50's and 60's this book brought back many memories of that era long forgotten. Alan's style as with his presenting is a delight. Well paced with additional photographs I recommend this book to any one who has watched Alan Tichmarsh progress through his career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JEGilibrand on 15 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
I had previously read "Nobbut a Lad"- should have done it the other way round. However I found this book just a interesting. I could relate to a lot of things in both books and having lived near to Ilkley until fairly recently, made it even more interesting. Well written and an excellent,readable book.
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