Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 23 November 2007

A Good Read

This week's mainly awful weather has meant very little Veg or Garden plotting of a practical nature has taken place. Instead, I've been able to turn my attention to my 'Booklog' (i.e. book backlog), which has swollen to enormous proportions due to recent purchases - about 30 books in fact.

Not books strictly speaking I know, but I've also taken the opportunity to peruse the numerous seed catalogues sent to me in recent weeks. Aha I hear you cry, you could call that veg plotting of a theoretical nature. OK I confess, I've been planning what's needed next year whilst imagining that elusive perfect plot of no weeds, bumper crops and easily tilled soil (dream on!).

Back with the Booklog, I've managed to finish reading Beth Chatto's Garden Notebook this week. It's always illuminating to read the thoughts of one of our great plantswomen - I particularly enjoyed her accounts of the garden nursery part of her business. However, I did find some of her planting descriptions a little repetitive, always a danger with this kind of book, especially when presented in a diarised format.

A particular delight was receiving a book from Grumpy Old Bookman, who's been clearing out his attic recently. I'd requested Scrooge and the Widow of Pewsey, which arrived with an important plop on my doormat on the rain sodden Monday. I wasn't feeling particularly well that day and this book turned out to be the perfect antidote, devoured in one delicious sitting.

I'm now in the latter stages of What was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn. I believe I was fated to read this book as in the space of a couple of days recently, I not only found that it was Book Monkey's recommendation on the delightful Mr B's website, but it was also mentioned in a recent newsletter from my old school as the author is also an ex-pupil. This mysterious, atmospheric book particularly resonates with me due to it's main setting in a shopping complex, very similar to the one where I had a Saturday job as a teenager.

I'm also finally getting to grips with The History and Naming of Plants - the first manual of the Designing with Plants course I'm currently taking. I've had all the materials since August, but have only managed to start it this week. Up to now, I've been procrastinating - aka getting to grips with the reading list, starting the sketchbook and plant profile elements of the course assessment, and making sure I do plenty of practical gardening instead of cracking on with the actual theory needed to pass the exam. This week's weather has made me start the course proper - at last!

Thanks to Tindal Street Press Limited for the book image used for this posting.

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