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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 30 November 2005
Given that I'm currently living in a flat several floors above the earth, I have to do my gardening vicariously these days … largely through reading and reviewing books. My present situation is one of choice - I don't have time to maintain the garden I'd want. And my reason for advocating that we should all do a bit of garden is that it is relaxing and plays a vital role in making you feel a connection with the world and life. Even if you don't have a garden, you can keep pot plants and window boxes, can enjoy seeding and taking cuttings and growing your own herbs and a few salad vegetables.
Alan Titchmarsh has established himself as the face and voice of gardening. He has served his apprenticeship, has done all the cold, dirty, wet jobs, and spent most of his life working with the soil. He has the experience, he has undoubted practical knowledge, and he has an extraordinarily warm and communicative personality which regularly graces television. His "The Complete How to be a Gardener" is a first class guide for anyone wanting practical advice.
"The Gardener's Year", meanwhile, supplements and extends this earlier title. Gardening is intimately bound to the seasons and the weather. To garden successfully, you have to plan ahead, have to visualise. Those beautiful blooms or that rich crop of potatoes didn't happen over night. You have to time things, prepare the ground at the right time, plant at the right time, prune, feed, stake, weed at the right time.

Titchmarsh looks at the routines of gardening, the planning of gardening. It's a good book to buy at Christmas so you can map out your year ahead. What do you want from your garden? Colour? Wildlife? A year round harvest of vegetables? Much television latterly has emphasised garden design - but planning your gardening, getting the jobs into the right order is really the essential factor. And planning should be a joy - sitting on a cold, wet January night and imagining the bulbs in bloom, or the taste of fresh picked strawberries, or whatever … that's one of the real joys of gardening.
Excellent package, loads of first class advice, but also a book which should motivate and enthuse you. A book to enjoy and use … but enjoy it first.
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on 6 May 2017
The month by month layout of this book make it very easy to use as a reminder, or reference about what needs to be done each month. I find it very useful
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on 7 February 2006
This book is great fun to read because it is written so much in Alan's own voice - you can just hear him reassuring, joking and encouraging. I'm really glad I bought it, but I warn you that you are likely to need a more encyclopaedic book too, as a back-up to this. At first it seems pretty comprehensive, until you try to use it as a reference. For example, I've just bought some freesias, and some anemones (bulbs), but when I looked for them in the index there was no mention. If you are a keen gardener, I strongly recommend you try to get hold of AGL Hellyer's "Your Garden Week by Week" which is very old, and bossy, but covers more. (Of course for a non-calendar approach there are lots of good reference books to choose from .)
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on 2 June 2008
I have to agree with "bookworm1973" that it "will need supplementing". But this is not a bad thing or a fault with the book. This is not a "what to plant where" type book or a comprehensive list of Latin named plants. No, it is a yearly garden maintenance manual.

It is a very easy book to read. There are no individual chapters on planting, lawn care, pests, vegetables etc. There are just twelve chapters. Each chapter is a title of a month. So you don't read the book from cover to cover, instead you turn to chapter "June" on the first day of June. Each chapter has a one-page checklist of garden tasks covering lawn care, pests, planting, vegetables etc. for just that month. The rest of the chapter covers the checklist in more detail. What to do in the month and how to do it. It may seem obvious to the experienced gardener but not to the novice. There is a friend of mine who is mystified that I am preparing for spring in September and October.

It's a big tome. But if you need more info you may need "How to be a Gardener" by the same author or an equivalent. But I must confess of the two books I refer to "The Gardener's Year" most of all. It's quick and easy reference.
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on 28 January 2006
Really! When it comes to gardening i truly havent got a clue.
Having spent vast amounts (now having an actaul whole real life garden now, and large one at that!) on gardening books trying to figure out what i'm supposed to do and when and with what i got this book from that lovely bloke....Uncle Alan.
I now have a rough idea when spring is!
The detailed check lists of monthly task's is a real brilliant for your average gardening plonker, fantastic pictures and how to's. Uncle Alan reasurringly pats you on the back all the way through and supplies you with the how to's, when's and why's including ideas etc.
I will be combining this with Cassells gardening encyclopedia i think it's called, and have all the information me, your garden plonker information she can really work with.
Go on, get the book, you know you want it!
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on 19 September 2008
First the negative, its not the ultimate month by month gardening handbook as claimed on the cover but it is good. Lovely pictures and the text is full of Alan's banter I like the checklist in each month to remind me of the things I should do or should have done which in years past I forget until is was a little late. Looking through the book in the short days on January and February aching for spring is the book at its best for me. Good for motivation for any gardener wondering to do what when however I find RHS Gardening Through The Year much better 4 stars for Alan 5 stars for the RHS. Better still do what I did and buy both and shorten winter
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on 14 January 2013
It was a helpful book for tips on flowers. I will not divide my phlox till the middles die off which is about three to four years so don't have to do it this year after all. I was disappointed with the vegetable section as there was no specific advice for each type of vegable. In fact only four pages for the veg garden.
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on 20 May 2015
If you have just become the custodian of a garden and are wondering what to do with it, what to prune and when, what flowers when? This is the book for you.

I like the introduction where Alan says 'Use this for reference, don't beat yourself up for not doing EVERYTHING on that months list'. Each month has its own section with what to do in the garden and when, with references to flowers, fruit and veg as well as water gardens too. A really good reference book for the garden newbie.

I was too poor to pay £30 but got a real bargain from a market place seller, the book is substantial and the hardback will help it last many years, its about an inch thick in hardback so quite a tome but full of really useful knowledge. A must have book for the newbie.
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on 7 August 2009
This is a great book for those fairly new to gardening as it does exactly what it says it does. It takes you through the year, giving details of all the gardening tasks you should be doing and when you should do them. It also has a good section on plants looking their best at each month so if your garden in looking a bit drab or bare at a particular time, you can have alook and choose suitable plants to add.
My only critisism is that occasionally I want to know when to divide or what to do to a particular plant and it is often hard to find the right bit to read. But if you check the book regularly through the year, it will keep you on track with most of your gardening needs.
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on 6 December 2009
A well-crafted and easy-to-read gardener's book, with excellent diagrams and beautiful photographs.
Fun to read and very informative, good, humorous footnotes.
Like having a knowledgable neighbour to guide you.
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