Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer Review

on 14 April 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I quite like this book, the gardening is simple, yet there is enough detail, and the cooking, while not always to my taste, seems well related to the produce. It is quite well organised, following the months of the year and the planting and harvesting cycle and the many illustrations serve to complement the text nicely. But it could have been so very much better, an opportunity wasted.

I found it difficult to read unless with a strong light, too much of the text is faint, and the sections are inadequately differentiated, with faint lower case captions (why bother with them if they do not mark out the text?) The smaller black text for the box-out-border comments was much easier to read than the larger but faint body text for the main gardening content. This current arty fad seems to be a blight spreading like some kind of foul fungus through the publishing world right now, ruining otherwise perfectly satisfactory books. Some designer somewhere needs a good dose of Bacillus Subtilis. For an example of how to do it properly, with immaculately clear presentation take a look at The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson.

For a novice gardener, with a better layout, this would have made a good introduction, and the idea of combining recipes with planting and harvesting times gives one a fair idea of why we do it and what sort of results to expect. But be warned, in a number of places the advice is a bit patchy; for example we had a glut of potatoes in October and we're just eaten our last few in April, but while she correctly advises how to store them she fails to mention where to store them - ours were very happy in a cool, dry, frost-free shed.

I've tried variations on a few of the recipes; from late March the saffron broth, and from April, the rhubarb, and also the green soup, and they all worked well enough. Some of the others best for later in the year look promising too, but we are unlikely to have grown all the ingredients, some trading will be required.

I'd have liked to see the planting/harvesting calendar pages grouped together in an Appendix instead of scattered through the book. Also the time of year should be more clearly indicated on each page, the faded footnote just does not begin to score, it should be a subtle but clear header. I found the index was the best way to get around the book, and ignored the indistinct section headings. But then I knew what I was looking for; a novice gardener might have more difficulty just trying to read through the book.

So while the idea is good, and the content adequate for a nice introduction to growing and eating your own, the editing and presentation are abysmal, making it just too difficult to bother with. A pity, perhaps Celia Brown should look for a different publisher. So only three stars.

Some much better organised and more comprehensive classic books well worth considering are
Middleton's Gardening Guide by Richard Sudell
Secrets Of Successful Gardening by Richard Sudell
Penguin Book of Basic Gardening by Alan Gemmell
WH Smith Practical Gardening Handbook ed Ron Hay
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.