I am thrilled with this book. I ordered it for my daughter as she is a keen grower of her own produce. This book is amazing, it gives fabulous ideas on planning, diagrams, beautiful colour plates, descriptions of plants, incredible plant combinations, ideas of growing methods, and not just in a conventional way. The varieties of vegetables and the use of them to make ones garden incorporate them is staggering. It is the best vegetable garden book I have come across, just bursting with ideas. It may not be a book for a complete novice, but one is sure to come up to speed with this addition in your gardening library. It is so good, the burning question is can I part with it to give to my daughter or just have to purchase another one?
For all of us brought up with parents or grandparents, or older friends who showed us the 'rules' of vegetable gardening, where cabbages were confined to an area out of sight of the neighbours, and onions would under no circumstances be allowed to flower, reading Joy Larkcom's book feels like a rather guilty pleasure. The idea that veg don't have to be grown as single crops in formal rows, and that perhaps a little disorder may be a good thing, feels so wrong and yet so right! Full of beautiful pictures of vegetables (!), this book qualifies as coffee table material - it's where art and gardening meet - but is also fascinating, inspiring, and written with such unbridled and infectious enthusiasm that it's difficult to decide whether to put the book down and action some of the wonderful ideas, or continue to indulge your creative fantasies, cup of tea in hand!
I haven't rotivated all my lawns yet (though it's tempting), but I have already done some things that would make my poor old grandfather turn in his grave, such as starting to growing runner beans up through the climbing roses (could make picking interesting, we shall see) and sowing brassicas in my flower borders. Ms Larkcom's book makes you feel as if anything is possible and nothing is forbidden.
For anyone starting out with a blank canvas, there are also plenty of planting plans for all kinds of soil and location, and the section on individual vegetables is packed with useful information. Whether you need some creative inspiration, heaps of practical advice or if you just enjoy beautiful pictures, I would strongly recommend this book.
For a couple of years I've toyed with the idea of making a vegetable garden. Problem is I don't really like that much "proper" vegetable gardens because if they are not perfect they are not pleasant to the eye. Last year I gave it a try, planting some tomatoes and caulifowers here and there in my flowerbeds and decided to give it a try BUT do it my way. This book showed me that there is a way to planting whatever you want to and don't have to hide it at the bottom of your garden (incidentally, my garden has no bottom, neither is big enough). Now I am full of ideas and, most important, it is not going to be a case of trial and error like last year. It doesn't explain everything though. There is no such thing as "the final book" about anything. It is a book about making beautiful vegetable gardens. Enough for me.
Combining both laying out your garden and growing vegetables to look beautiful, this book is really inspirational. Having become interested in permaculture over the last year or so I feel this book is step in that direction, though most of the plants recommended are annual vegetables it also recommends perennials and has an exhaustive list in the back section. The book also has a horticultural approach as to when your veg is going to give colour to the garden, as you would normally see in books for designing mixed boarders for colour through out the season. It is accessible but has a lot of detailed information too. For most of us we may not make the whole garden edible, but I'm hoping this book will continue to guide me as I turn herbaceous boarders into ornamental edible boarders.
If you're a creative person, and have a veg garden, then this book is for you. It offers great inspiration on making the vegetable garden look good, getting away from the traditional straight lines, what to put with what in terms of textures and colours among other aspects, and how to create dramatic effects in the potager. Lovely book.
This book is an absolute inspiration for creating rather beautiful veg gardens. Packed with great photos and full of advice and tips on growing veg. I love dipping into this book in the evenings as I plan my plot.
A fantastic book for designing a beautiful edible garden or allotment, in my case. Joy includes the largest range of edibles I have ever encountered a must for anyone wanting to try something new or a new more aesthetic way of growing the more well known.
excellent book - full of photos, background info, detailed examples of what plants to use in different locations. Summary list of plants at the back; a great book to read section by section and includes a chapter on using fruit trees / espallier and cordon as garden dividers.