13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Another dig with a gentleman.,
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This review is from: Knave of Spades: Growing Pains of a Gardener (Hardcover)
I have read Alan Titchmarh's previous autobiographical offerings, Trowel and Error(which I have reviewed) and Nobbut a Lad: A Yorkshire Childhood (which I have not for some reason!). Knave of Spades continues, the story; the current one, past adventures and misdemeanours (of which there are few) and childhood experiences of gardening.
Gardening is the major theme of this book, even though like a good Yorkshire man he goes off the point, for example the Last Night of the Proms and balancing on 2 chairs - you will have to read it to find out about the reference. Everything comes back to gardening.
It is a delightful tale of where it all began for one of our most famous television gardeners. Stories of his childhood and what was obviously a struggle to convince his parents that gardening was a `trade' and it would go somewhere. His move into the local Ilkely council department which dealt with the gardening side of the town - decorating the town hall to name one. Alan recounts the characters he met while working there, as well as referring to his personal life as well, as his development with girls was not blossoming as well as the flowers under his care.
From this Alan moves us through the rest of his gardening/horticulture career, college and interestingly Kew Gardens, all stories smattered with tales of characters but practical information about gardening and a lot about plants, and their Latin names. Not being a gardener of any sorts, not even a window box, this bit I found dull, but that is only because of my lack of knowledge on the subject. Not because of the writing, this is well done.
The stories of Kew develop into his love of writing, and the amount, which surprised me of what he had done, before he got to be on Gardner's World, and subsequently in our televisions sets with an entertainment programme called 'Ground Force'!
There is much to this book, and we gain further insight into a man, who has a passion for many things, gardening is the most important, music and books. It is great to be able to relate to many things in a book, even if one of the topics is not quite your thing. A must for all fans of Alan Titchmarsh but also an interest and love in gardening.