"I used to feel as calm in the garden as if I was knitting socks by the fire - it always made me happy" These words, spoken to author Lalage Snow, sum up the peace and fulfillment that can be derived from plants. It is a sentiment well understood by gardeners. Yet this, and every interviewee featured in her book 'War Gardens' tells a story of gardening in conflict's dark shadow.
Who doesn’t love a traditional village show? As the holiday season approaches organisers air the beer tent, hammer signs into the village green and untangle the bunting. But what sort of person enters these competitions and what experiences await first timers? If you're a gardener or allotment holder you may be shy to get involved in showing or question why you even would. Here I share my story as a first time entrant and some special tips for exhibiting from a local judge.
If you’re interested in starting to grow your own fruit and veg for the first time, or wish to experiment with things you’ve never tried before, I can think of no better book to recommend than this one. It gives you easy instructions on how to get going and what you'll need. Tucked away in the list of useful items is a fold up chair as “a picnic chair is great for a tea break.” The Tea Break Gardener thoroughly approves of this sentiment.