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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Review :)
I'm not a regular reader of the FT, so none of the material here is familiar. If you've been a regular follower of the author, there may be a sense of deja-vu from his newspaper column.

Organised, broadly speaking, around the seasons the book is a compendium of light, readable cuttings of advice, reminiscences, commentaries, biographies and travelogues. As...
Published on 12 Sep 2010 by Emteq

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes quite unbearable
I was astonished by his evil ramblings against women and organic gardening.
Many lies about why organic things can never work and would lead to chaos in the garden.
Is he aware that chemicals in Germany for quite some time are not allowed anymore in public places (and gardens)?

Sad to see that this author is clearly from another time and place that is...
Published 2 months ago by Regen


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Review :), 12 Sep 2010
By 
Emteq "Emteq" (Down where the drunkards roll) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
I'm not a regular reader of the FT, so none of the material here is familiar. If you've been a regular follower of the author, there may be a sense of deja-vu from his newspaper column.

Organised, broadly speaking, around the seasons the book is a compendium of light, readable cuttings of advice, reminiscences, commentaries, biographies and travelogues. As such, it can be dipped-into at will or read for seasonal advice or cover to cover. No cutting will detain for more than 5 minutes.

Apparently drawn from decades of material, none of the cuttings are dated as such. Some, I'd suggest the less successful, can be dated by context of discussing a death from years back.

Given the readership of the FT, it's no surprise that the author assumes that visiting gardens in France, Italy or America could very well be on the reader's itinerary.

For me, the most successful aspects of the book are the out and out advice on plants, nurseries, preferred cultivators, planting schemes etc. The author is unabashed in advocating Miracle Grow over organic methods and dislike of prairie planting.

There is just enough photographs of plants and gardens to be helpful, though more would be welcome.

Given it's organising structure, I couldn't help but to compare with Stuart Thomas' Cuttings from Garden Notebook from 1997. If obliged to choose, I would still favour this as a compendium of practical advice to the more thoughtful gardener, while accepting that Lane Fox is painting on a broader canvas.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect stocking filler, 4 Oct 2010
This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
As a regular reader of the FT, I always look forward to RLF's gardening articles for their irreverent, politically incorrect (in gardening circles anyway)and downright funny take on life. RLF is a true polymath who would appear to be able to turn his hand to anything he chooses. I particularly enjoyed his account of his battles with Christopher Lloyd, the former doyen of garden writers and who else would have thought of giving prozac to badgers!

As for the organic vs inorganic debate, I would never presume to condemn someone else's garden choices, particularly if they are trying to manage two careers and run two significant gardens. As the previous reviewer said, this is a great book for dipping into on a regular basis, but you will not find a boring or predictable article in this wonderful book.

In particular, I was pleased to discover that so much of the material is new. If I had one small quibble, I would like the publishers to have included an index but all in all this book is essential reading for all keen gardeners.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read at bedtime, 10 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
What a wonderful book, its great to read just before nodding off each night.
My copy has an index!
Well recommended to all gardeners. Great read can find no faults, infact I find it a superb book for a Christmas gift. Dont hestitate buy it today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Writer about Gardens, 19 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. J. A. G. Currie (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
For many years Robin Lane Fox's articles about gardening did much to boost the sales of the financial Times on Saturday. His writing has been a welcome change from the faddish designer-celebrity garden correspondents who know all to little about the plants that they recommend. This book sums up his long career in gardening to date and would be a welcome present for both the experienced gardener and those who, like me are married to one and wish to find out what it is that attracts people to the garden.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY A FIRST EDITION WHILST YOU CAN !, 19 Oct 2011
By 
Jeff Walmsley "JW" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
For once, I agree with everybody ! This book is in the classic genre of the gardening essay, which almost invariably has more to offer the keen gardener, thoughtful or thoughtless, than the formulaic "how to do it" books. This genre shouldn't need illustrations -- when it does, it's usually a failure -- and this book doesn't need them either but it's none the worse for having a few.

A glance through the copious index (the reviewer whose copy didn't have one should ask for his money back) reveals the breadth of the writing; what other gardening book contains mentions of Lauren Bacall, Sophie Click-Portal, the Emperor Tiberius and Alexander the Great (the last two had to come in, of course), alongside the usual gardening worthies, various princesses, lords and ladies, and, the most intriguing entry of all, "Stoat, and Nicholas Ridley"...

In return for the privilege of at last reading the truth about weed killers from a garden writer, one can forgive a few errors; nobody knows everything. Robin rightly praises the former head gardener of Powis Castle, James Hancock, whose wife and I once belonged to the same painting group, but places Powis Castle in Shropshire. In rural terms Powis Castle and I are neighbours, being separated by only a few fields, and I can assure him that we are both firmly in Wales -- understandably, you might think, in the County of Powys (but note the different spelling). I believe he may also be unjustifiably denigrating (and drugging !) his badgers; dig up his lawns they may, as they do mine, but it is the squirrels, voles and mice which dine prodigiously off the crocus corms.

The most effective education is that which simultaneously entertains. You can't go wrong here. Get the first edition whilst you can; it's an investment as well as an entertaining education.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and informative, 23 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
This book is wonderfully written ( articles from his FT column) engaging and funny and hugely informative, it allows an 'inside track' on many conversations with Head Gardeners and tales from visits to Dutch flower markets ( a favourite of mine!), a real treat, I'm so sad I've finished reading it but know I shall go back to refer to it over and over again...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely gift, 2 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
I was looking for a gift which would offer a little something to reflect on, in bite sized pieces, for a colleague who was resigning and who was looking to spend more contemplative time in the garden. This isn't full of th emost wonderful glossy pics,but tells you a bit about what it is like to be a gardener of a certain type, and whati such a gardener does in his garden, and was just what we wanted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fanatical gardener, 6 Feb 2011
By 
M. F. Johnson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
Third book I have read by Robin Lane Fox, and he is a really intelligent and thoughtful writer and gardener.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes quite unbearable, 1 July 2014
This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
I was astonished by his evil ramblings against women and organic gardening.
Many lies about why organic things can never work and would lead to chaos in the garden.
Is he aware that chemicals in Germany for quite some time are not allowed anymore in public places (and gardens)?

Sad to see that this author is clearly from another time and place that is quickly coming to an end.
If you can look past that there are some interesting and wonderful observations about gardening.

Thank God for people like Dan Person who is a far greater gardener and a responible person who lives in the present.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Gardening, Robin Lane Fox, 28 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Thoughtful Gardening: Great Plants, Great Gardens, Great Gardeners (Hardcover)
This was a book I bought for my husband, at somebody's recommendation. He loves it, and from what I can hear of his laughter, it must be entertaining and well written
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