- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Kyle Cathie (16 Sept. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1856265439
- ISBN-13: 978-1856265430
- Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 1.9 x 27.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 629,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The No-Work Garden: Getting the Most Out of Your Garden for the Least Amount of Work Paperback – 16 Sep 2004
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great to dip into... strong opinions, some extraordinary ideas and yet also more than a bushel of sound advice -- Pippa Greenwood, You Magazine, Mail on Sunday
About the Author
Bob Flowerdew has gardened organically for over 20 years and is Britain's foremost authority on organic gardening methods. He is constantly experimenting with new methods and ways of saving labour. In addition to his own books, was recently a co-author of The GQT Plant Chooser (see opposite).
Top customer reviews
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It's the first book I've read from front to back that I've not only found its content fascinating and sometimes unorthodox but have understood and appreciated Bobs way of thinking. He is forthright in his opinions about how he thinks things should be done and explains the reasons in depth,(sometimes too much at times). Bob sometimes uses his past experiences to elaborate on the subjects, which I felt brought it to life.
This book covers a wide range of topics that are usually in a majority of gardening books, but this one is different. I felt the content, photos and illustrations were laid out in a easy to follow fashion and it didn't bog me down with too much gobbledygook!
By reading this book (by accident), I have changed my opinion about Bob Flowerdew - and Bob Flowerdew has changed my opinion on gardening!
I am looking forward to reading more of the same.
Here is an example: I read elsewhere that when you plant a tree, you should not add compost or manure. Why? Flowerdew explains: you want the tree to put down long roots, and it will do so if it can't get all the nourishment it needs from the immediate vicinity. Feed your newly planted tree, and you are actually making it weaker (in the long run). I value this sort of information because I can then figure out when to follow the advice, and when not to. For example, if I am going to be re-planting the tree in the near future, I might be better off with a smaller root-ball, so I may as well go ahead and improve the "nursery" soil. Similarly, this explains why you improve the soil for short-lived plants like vegetables.
In other respects this is a good gardening book for a general audience. It covers a broad range of topics, including indoor plants and wildlife. The photographs are excellent for sharpness and relevance, with useful captions. There is a guide to garden jobs by season at the back.
Flowerdew is of course opinionated. If his opinions don't suit, then you may still find useful information here, but you may be a bit annoyed about disagreeing. For example, he does explain how to deal with close-cropped lawns of fine grass, but he insists that these should only be for bowling greens and the like, and that the rest of us are wasting our time if we're trying to get a general-purpose lawn to look like this.
The only defect I've noticed is the index. It is much too short. Most major topics are there, of course, but it has been kept brief. For example, he proposes a watering system based on syphoning, discussed over two pages with illustrations. However, you will not find "syphon" in the index. It is referenced only as "watering systems".
I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for new ideas and less work in their garden, provided that they are open-minded about organic approaches to gardening.
For Bob and many others, gardening is more than just a way of passing a few pleasant hours, it is a way of life, the means by which we express and enjoy our belief in wholesome living and being at one with nature, struggling with it often enough. Not everyone who gardens, however, can put that across to the rest of us and inspire us to follow suit. That's where Bob Flowerdew comes in. His no-nonsense, practical approach, where he recognises that the everyday garden does not look like a National Trust open day; where there are rough patches, places we don't know quite what to do with, half finished projects, things that we could do better and a place to just sit and mull it all over...is ok, because for most of us that is what our garden is all about.
There is a wealth of advice here, carefully and succinctly explained and not just told to us; ideas we might consider trying if they appeal to us, much hard-won understanding as well and a sense that, whilst Bob is more knowledgeable than many, he is at heart a simple soul who would just love it if we shared his love of gardening. Take heart Bob, we do.
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If a technique saves you time and that time can be used to appreciate your garden then I think we would all agree that has to be great for gardening.The No-Work Garden: Getting the Most Out of Your Garden for the Least Amount of WorkRead more
There can be no doubt the reading audience will get the overall impression that a nice chap...Read more