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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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I have owned this book for several years. I have found it to be invaluable in the choosing and growing of many different fruits. It has extensive sections and reviews with colour pictures on choosing different varieties of apples pears, peaches etc. This includes some more unusual varieties as well as those more commonly available. The reviews are as useful in telling you what not to plant as what to plant. There are reasonable sections on pruning (but I think this is better done by the RHS Growing Fruit book.) The section on diseases and pests is also very good with clear illustrations for correct identification of problems.
In summary an excellent book particularly to help with choosing which varieties to plant, although the prunning sections are a little breif.
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on 21 February 2013
A good book for beginners, but the author annoyingly has a rather pessimistic outlook on most things. The sections on common fruit grown in Britain such as apples, pears, plums, cherries and soft fruit are all very good. The section on melons is also good, if a bit pessimistic and disappointingly doesn't suggest unprotected cultivation on black plastic in warmer areas.
The sections on figs, mulberries are too brief, basically a couple of paragraphs each. The sections on peaches and apricots are okay.
The section on grapes is rather poor. It lists mainly wine or dual purpose grapes, all of which are seeded. Some home growers will want to grow for wine, but at least half I'd estimate (probably more like 3/4) will want to grow table grapes for eating. Seedless eating grapes such as Lakemont and Himrod are absent, whilst seeded and commonly grown eating grapes such as Boskoop Glory aren't mentioned either. Instead there are greenhouse grapes listed, some good varieties for eating but some of them such as Madresfield Court are very obscure and almost impossible to purchase.
The wine varieties listed are good for that purpose, if a little bland. Less hardy varieties, but ones which are nevertheless the most common in cultivation are omitted as well. Pinot Noir is one of the world's best wine grapes and is grown commercially in Southern England and yet isn't mentioned.
Overall the section on grapes needs revising and expanding.

So a good book for beginners, good if you want to grow typical British fruits such as apples and strawberries, not so much for less common fruits.
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Once again, Hessayon comes up trumps with his simple, easy-to-follow and well-illustrated guide. There's everything you need to know about growing fruit, from the qualities of different varieties to planting and care.
My particular favourite is the fruit troubles area, as the illustrations enable you to pinpoint exactly what problem you have and show you how to treat them.
This book is a must for anyone starting out or wanting to reinject some life into an orchard or a fruit garden.
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VINE VOICEon 9 September 2010
Dr D.G. Hessayon's gardening books are an absolute must own if you have a garden, or are about to get a garden, or don't own a garden but look after one for someone else, or just like reading about gardening. Gets straight to the point of telling you what you need to know.

This one is no exception, especially if you intend to grow more than just Trees, Flowers & Grass.

Aside from having a pretty cover, it contains all you need to know to choose & grow: Apples, Pears, Plums & Gages, Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Figs, Mulberries, Quinces, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Boysenberry, Dewberry, Hildaberry, Japanese Wineberry, Loganberry (and a few other berries you probably didn't know existed), Blackcurrants, Gooseberries, Red Currants, White Currants, Cranberries, Blueberries, Grapes, Melons & Kiwi Fruit.

It also helps you identify various varieties of fruit, and also identify what's gone horribly wrong if your fruit develops a problem.

It also has a section on shop bought fruits, with old favourites + some not many people know exist.

There's also advice on various maintenance tasks, such as pruning.

It doesn't contain advice on growing Rhubarb, if your looking for that......... it's on page 88 of the Vegetable and Herb Expert, which is an excellent partner to this book.
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on 25 June 2015
The usual excellent book I have come to expect from the "expert" range. Like the rest of them it presents just about everything the beginner needs to know about how to start growing their own fruit. At the same time it contains enough detailed information to be useful to the more advanced gardener. The book covers (amongst other things) what to grow, where to grow it, which varieties, how to look after, feed, prune and protect your plants. .I always find the section on pests, diseases and cultivation problems to be particularly helpful. The information is laid out in a clear and logical fashion with photos, drawings and diagrams on pretty much every page. Whenever I have taught or helped someone with gardening I have recommended these books and they have always been useful. To sum up, if you are a beginner or branching out into a new area of gardening, the appropriate book from this range is probably the single most useful one you could find.
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on 21 October 2015
I've had a copy of this book for years which was destroyed in a flood. This new one is almost identical but it dos have some new and interesting things to say. Invaluable to me despite bookshelves groaning with all sorts of 'expert' books this is the one I turn to first.
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on 23 May 2014
When the book arrived, I found that it was nearly a quarter of a century old. There is now way of telling this from the website. Even gardening has moved on hugely in that time with new varieties, chemicals and techniques. I will have to start again.
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on 31 May 2015
Good book that covers all the basic principles of growing fruit trees and bushes (although some of the varieties mentioned by be "out of date" by now). Covers feeding requirements, diseases and their remedies, pruning, propagating etc.
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on 12 December 2011
The local nursery recommended this book to help us select our first ever fruit trees. On reading the book we changed our choices completely! We now have to wait a couple of years to see if our purchases come to 'fruition'!
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on 22 April 2014
The Expert series are always my first port of call when looking at the garden. Both the overview and the detail are helpful, and if you are beginning it is always helpful to have some guidance as to what will work well and what won't. You can always extend you choices later once you have the confidence of some early success.
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