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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 July 2011
This rather curious book is a blend of the chatty and the informative. The two authors, Graham Rice and the "maestro" Christopher Lloyd, have written in tandem, with paragraphs tagged by their initials; it is somewhere between two books shuffled together, and a chance to eavesdrop on a privileged conversation between two outstanding gardeners.

The first part is a guide to the techniques involved in growing from seed, taken methodically and set out with clear headings. The second (larger) part is an A-Z of plants, with the authors' comments not only on growing them, but on choosing varieties and much more, including whether they think it's worth your while to try at all!

I'm still not sure if this rather eccentric format is a good thing or not. Undoubtedly all the information is in there, together with much wisdom which would be missing from a more schematic book (of the "Expert" type, say). It FEELS as if it's hard to use, but I suspect I'm just being impatient. What you need to do is make a cup of tea, sit down and read carefully the section relevant to what you're growing. You can look up a plant then go back to the start to bone up on the techniques if you want to do it that way round. Don't expect to flip it open and see everything set out in neat tables, however.

This is a good book to have by you when you are doing the seed catalogue thing in the winter. Take your time and it will save you ordering seed which is more problematic that you want to be fussed with. Read it again before you sow and you will undoubtedly get a better success rate. A book for the really keen gardener with plenty of time to do things properly.

The book deals with shrubs and perennials as well as shorter-lived plants, but I think Annuals: And Biennials (Garden Plant Series, 10) by Roger Phillips would be a useful book to use in tandem with this. Also well worth checking out is How to Propagate: Techniques and Tips for Over 1000 Plants by John Cushnie
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on 21 July 2015
An absolute gem of a book. Some of the practice is slightly dated, some questionable but all very interesting and thought provoking.
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on 18 February 2015
interesting reading and very informative
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2013
formative and funny...a good reference book written by two very good gardeners who know their stuff about plants and flowers
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2014
The book is as promised and arrived in a couple of days, perfectly packed.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2011
The second-hand book arrived in very good condition. The book is extremely informative and easy to reference and I look forward to producing flowers from seed for my garden next year.
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