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152 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Jungle!
My wife and I required help. We had just bought a house with gardens that required much attention - Lawns that had had many football tournaments played on them, flowerbeds that resembled war zones and barren areas of land that made the Sahara desert look positively fertile.
We had studied many gardening books, many of which were good, but none aimed at the...
Published on 1 May 2002 by Mark Ashworth

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A Present for son. Not read yet
Published 2 months ago by Kate Graham


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152 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Jungle!, 1 May 2002
This review is from: How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) (Hardcover)
My wife and I required help. We had just bought a house with gardens that required much attention - Lawns that had had many football tournaments played on them, flowerbeds that resembled war zones and barren areas of land that made the Sahara desert look positively fertile.
We had studied many gardening books, many of which were good, but none aimed at the 'absolutely useless'. After watching Mr. Titchmarsh's series on back to basics gardening we decided to check out the accompanying book.
Were we impressed? Absolutely. There's everything here that the beginner could wish for. What tools you require and their uses. Garden pests and ways to remove them. Correct ways, positions, and times of year of planting, to name but a few topics. My only gardening 'skill' was mowing the lawn. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I'd been doing it wrong (Cutting too short, not removing dead grass, etc).
If the only time you get green fingers is after picking your nose (sorry) then this is a perfect book and cannot be recommended enough.
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! A gardening book for the true novice, 6 May 2002
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This review is from: How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) (Hardcover)
How good it was to read a gardening book written for a true novice. Alan does not assume that you know anything except that the garden is usually outdoors. All is explained clearly but not in a patronising way, the pictures would surely inspire anyone to get out there and have a go at creating their own little paradise.
What a refreshing change this book is to all the fashionable 'no plants' type of gardening, I was quite sad when I finished reading it. I have had a garden for quite a while,mine has grown randomly without any design whatsoever, but Alan's book has inspired me to have a go at designing my own triangles.
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154 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what the title says, 20 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) (Hardcover)
A very well written book in simple language, yet full of valuable information from start to finish. Mr Titchmarsh takes you through a brief explanation of what gardening is or should be and onto the basic fundamentals explaining about soil and how plants live, breath and grow. Easy to read and excellent photographs. i particularly enjoyed the sections on pests which will hopefully get rid of the army of never ending slugs in my garden! Written with his usual sense of humour I found it more like a one to one chat than reading a book. Very informative for the whole spectrum of gardening, can't wait for the tv series.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one gardening book, make it this one!, 18 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) (Hardcover)
The secret of Alan Titchmarsh's success lies in his ability to communicate with novices and old hands alike, at the same time and with neither feeling patronised or talked down to. He is at the same time a teacher, friend and fount of all wisdom. I particularly liked the section on design which made it quite impossible to fail to produce results. I have been a gardener for a few years, and found that this book plugged some of the gaps that inevitably occur when one is self-taught. For the beginner, it could quite possibly be the only book you will need (for a few years at least!)
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the new gardener, 23 Mar 2002
By 
paula (Ely, Cambs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) (Hardcover)
Alan really has the nack of putting something that is often shrouded in mystery in a clear and simple way. This book does just that. It takes you through the stages of assessing your plot, how to plan your next move and how to maintain the beautiful garden you have created.
It is particularly helpful to the first time or less experienced gardner often faced with a myriad of other books and magazines.
Choose this one and you'll be off to a flying start!
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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stuffed with information for the beginner and intermediate, 7 Feb 2003
If you've seen the series, this book is pretty much what you'd hope it would be. (I write this having seen only the first programme.) Equally, it would work very well as a stand-alone book - it isn't derivative at all. It has all the main points of the series, and it also fills in the detail and substance.
There are sections on developing your own design; vertical gardening (hedges, climbers etc); patio gardening; beds & borders; water features; edible gardens; and gardening under cover. (There's also a tiny bit about wildlife gardening.) Although there are lots of glossy pictures, they're all useful and relevant. The text is friendly and very helpful.
Don't buy it, even if you fancy it, if you already know a lot about planning a garden, because you'd find it patronising.
I find the tone really encouraging, and it is less chatty than the programmes. Definitely worth getting if you enjoy the series and want to put it into practice, or if you weren't able to see the programmes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Gardening at last!, 3 Jan 2004
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This review is from: How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my father who is an avid gardener but ended up reading it myself! It is very thorough and doesn't assume previous knowledge of the subject. Great for beginners and for those wishing to brush up on fundamentals which can sometimes get forgotten. It is heartening to see Dr Titchmarsh do something to encourage REAL gardening. Unfortunately, after all, he and his erstwhile Ground Force colleagues are largely responsible for the deplorable trend which has led to half the gardens in the country - certainly half those in my town - being buried under decking,chippings and paving slabs! Maybe Dr Titchmarsh should produce a wildlife gardening book/programme to make up for his role in helping to create all those sterile, plantless concrete wastelands.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to be a gardener, 18 Feb 2003
By A Customer
I bought this book having moved into my first home with garden. The book gave me many ideas and tips on how to turn my garden from a plot of grass, into a beautiful flower and shrub garden. It explains the terminology used in the book, ie thinning out, dead-heading etc. Being new to gardening this book really helped me achieve good results in my garden without killing everything. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well worth buying!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice but for novices only, 27 Jan 2005
By 
J. Brand "jbrand" (Somewhere else) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) (Hardcover)
I was really tempted to give this book a five star rating but for one point - this is a very short book and, while it does what it says on the cover, if you follow Alan's advice then within a few months you'll want something more detailed. So while it is an excellent volume in its own right it's quite poor value. I wouldn't regard myself as an experienced gardener but even I found only a few pages of information in here that was new to me.
For most people your probably better off saving the money and buying something like the RHS Encyclopedia of gardening, its more expensive but it will last you for years rather than months. Borrow this book (or buy it and sell it again) by all means and it will give an excellent grounding in what you need to do but you will want something more comprehensive later.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alan Titchmarsh gardening book, 20 Jan 2010
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This was recommended by a friend to buy for my recently bereaved mother-in-law. As she would be doing the gardening from now on. Judging by the results she achieves the book does what it says on the cover!
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How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One)
How to Be a Gardener: Back to Basics (Book One) by Alan Titchmarsh (Hardcover - 21 Feb 2002)
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