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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike
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...
Published on 31 Aug 2007 by Mike

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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
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...
Published on 15 April 2006 by vivsy


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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike, 31 Aug 2007
By 
Mike (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (Hardcover)
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but no photographs) coupled with Dr Hessayon's 'Expert' book on vegetable gardening (very well laid out but a little out of date on vegetable varieties).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 (rural hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (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
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A. Parker "prkanne" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (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
This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (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
By 
Scary Sue (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasured book full of glourious photos and advice., 19 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (Hardcover)
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 not the gruling work of it that so many do,set a few main common crops but focus on the easy and unusal.The book is full of inspiring photos by Jhonathon Buckley and sarah gives plenty of easy to follow advice for the beginner and experienced with great tips and ideas.This Book will be constantly used as much as Mrs Ravens other titles on our book shelf,just wish it had been there sooner!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 17 Aug 2009
By 
Fiona Lake (Leigh, Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (Hardcover)
We recently bought a house with a vegetable garden and as an enthusiastic but clueless novice gardener I needed some advice.

I found this book to be both inspirational and useful. Sarah Raven is very passionate about growing vegetables, and the photos are just gorgeous. After reading this I couldn't wait to get started! She is particularly good at suggesting vegetables and varieties that you might not have considered and may not have come across at a standard garden centre. I found her suggestions pretty much spot on.

Although quite glossy and bit of a life style book in some ways, it is also very useful with a good reference section at the back, and is organised methodically. So, for a beginner I found it to be the only book I really needed. My garden has quite a way to go before it comes anywhere close to the bucolic paradise of Sarah's garden, but if I ever need a bit of inspiration, a flick through the pages of this book does the trick!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book, 27 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (Hardcover)
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. Usually with gardening books there is a large section devoted to how to set up your plot, followed by a long list of fruit and veg with rather sparse information about sowing, planting and harvesting such as you find on the back of a seed packet, only slightly more illuminating.

Sarah Raven takes a completely different approach. In the main part of the book, she dedicates as much time as she feels is adequate describing a particular vegetable or fruit and the various ways of growing it and providing suggestions as to how to attain the best results. This approach does mean far fewer veg/fruit are mentioned, but the detail is exactly what I find most helpful.

At the back are the usual brief listings for other plants, but thankfully this doesn't dominate the book.

I'm very pleased with this book, although perversely it would be nice to just have a few more vegetables mentioned at length...!
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good book for a complete beginner, 4 April 2006
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M. parry - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (Hardcover)
This book is not what I after (I was after a book that is concentrating more on the structure of a vegetable plot). However, it does have a good guide on growing basic vegetables like carrots, potatoes, salad leaves etc...
There are quite a few receipes in this book but personally do not find them useful but some ideas are cool though!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 23 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Great Vegetable Plot (Hardcover)
I found this book very easy to read and understand with lots of very good tips and advice very good value
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The Great Vegetable Plot by Jonathan Buckley (Hardcover - 20 Oct 2005)
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