Long before his death, Christopher Lloyd had already become a cult figure. Gardeners who haven't read his books may wonder if it's all hype. Read this, the classic to end all classics, and you'll realise what the fuss is about. Here, in a book the size of a holiday novel and as entertaining, Lloyd takes us by the hand and, like a charmingly enthusiastic uncle, leads us skillfully through every aspect of gardening. Whether you are a beginner or flatter yourself you're an expert, you'll learn a lot of useful things you'll use year after year in your own gardening.
Technical matters are tackled with common sense and originality; we learn more than we ever thought possible about those tips and secrets it otherwise takes a lifetime to master. Matters of taste are dealt with from a personal and highly engaging perspective. Difficulties are mastered, disasters admitted to with a wry smile, false idols toppled with brio. Lloyd's style is often described as "chatty", which does it an injustice. It is informal, confiding, vividly descriptive, but at the same time elegant and carefully structured. Here is a man who can write with an exceptional talent, yet it is all aimed at getting things across, there are no egotistical flourishes.
Originally published in 1970, and revised in 1985, the revised edition is exceptionally well-illustrated for its day. High quality plates are distributed through the text, about half colour and half black and white. The pictures act as a garnish to the text and are fully annotated; you don't have to refer to them while reading or find the relevant place in the text to understand them.
Lloyd followed up this book with The Well-Chosen Garden, which deals entirley with planting schemes and combinations. It makes an excellent companion and I can strongly recommend it.