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New Kitchen Garden Paperback – 8 Apr 1999
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"To Vanessa," runs the dedication to Anna Pavord's yardstick manual of creative kitchen gardening, "who planted a weed garden." None of your boring rows of antediluvian cabbages here then: Pavord's vision of a "new kitchen garden" is a flexible contemporary version of that long-vanished institution, the potager, a garden where special vegetables were grown with flowering plants in arrangements that were both productive and pleasing to the eye.
Pavord's contemporary spins on the theme include an alcoholic hedge and a city larder, but traditional designs get a look-in, too; even the oh-so-precious formal herb garden receives a much-needed fillip of imagination and colour.
Pavord traces the historical accidents that set vegetables off from flowering plants, to the detriment of both, in an introduction full of the "buttery bonus" of artichokes and the "elegiac performance of a mature pear". Past the verbiage lie row upon row of well-tended plant lists, instructions on planting, growing, harvesting and storing, recommended cultivars, and homely recipes to feed that Laura Ashley moment. DK Living's surgical house layout has set many a set of teeth on edge in the past, but there's no denying its clarity and usefulness in a book so rich in information and advice.
For Pavord, growing food is our last and best connection to our earth. Evoking the paradisal gardens of a time when growing food meant survival, Pavord assures the reader that "there is no reason why you too should not be in that same state of delicious fluctuation." And you can't say fairer than that. --Simon Ings
Top customer reviews
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on 1 May 2001
This is a great book for the beginning gardener who is interested in growing vegetables, herbs and fruit. It is laid out in traditional Dorling Kindersley style with lots of colourful, inspiring as well as helpful photos. The information is comprehensive and easy to follow. It includes methods of cultivation as well as recommended cultivars. I particularly liked the section on garden styles which includes 'City Larder' and 'An Alcoholic Hedge'! There are lots of ideas for those of us who have small or even no gardens.
on 22 April 2003
This book is an excellent reference book covering most fruit and vegetables that you would be likely to grow in your garden. It offers tips for best yields, which types to try what to do if you get pest problems, full details on crop rotations and recipes for everything featured too. Excellent book giving alot more information than other books I have had.
on 22 November 2001
I am a keen amateur gardener, and I particularly enjoy growing herbs and vegetables. This book is a real boon to anyone with the same interest. Every aspect from garden design, to how to grow fruits, veg and herbs etc, right down to specific techniques (such as soil types, propagation and weed control) are included in detail. A real must for gardeners!
on 25 May 2007
A truly delightful book - informative and beautiful to look at. Anna Pavord shows that vegetables don't need to be planted in boring, neat, straight lines. They can be used to create different types of garden full of interest, colour and beautiful designs, from traditional kitchen gardens, cottage gardens and potagers to pots on balconies and window boxes. There is something for everyone here. I've always had a flower garden, with no inclination to 'spoil' the look with vegetables, even though I wanted to try growing some. This has sparked my interest to create a cottage garden, using vegetables - good looks and home-grown food: a double treat.
on 6 February 2012
Generally a book full of sound advice with solid practical examples. The layout works very well, with each mini-subject dealt with in a single two-page spread. The photos are large and of excellent quality and actually look like the produce I grow and eat. The only aspect you would need to follow up on elsewhere is the "recommended cultivars" section; with developments in horticulture proceeding at pace the range of cultivars available today may, in some instances, be a lot greater than when this book was written in 1996. That aside, I will continue to use to this excellent reference.
on 23 March 2016
10 years on, this is still the first book I go to when I need to remember when to plant my potatoes or seek some advice on pruning fruit and training bushes. Clear, practical advice on most common (and a few uncommon) fruits and veg, and even a few recipes too. All delivered in Pavord's clear and witty advice. Totally recommended, even if you're just a casual gardener - like her newspaper columns, it is a good read. Well illustrated too.
on 11 February 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Second hand all the way from the Tuscon library discarded stock pile.Once again Anna's love and skill abound in this useful companion.Will suit new and older gardners alike-plus tips on how best to use your produce add another dimension to the religion that is self sufficiency.Stunning colour plates add value to the well laid out text.This is a must have companion.
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