Let's face it, it's been an awful winter no matter where we are, so to dream a little of the months to come is a welcome release. I was fortunate to be asked by Jessica at The Arum Publishing Group if I would like to review a new book by Louise Curley (her Welly Woman blog is here). I am very protective of my little blog and its contents, but I know that quite a few of you love to fill your homes with blooms and are green fingered as I am so, with my garden sadly lacking love and attention over the winter months, and it looking battered and bruised with the winds and rain, the request came at the most perfect moment. Time to sit back in a cosy arm chair surrounded by seed catalogues and Louise's beautiful and visual stimulating book - The Cut Flower Patch, was very welcome indeed.
What I love about this book is that it is 'useable'! There are some gardening books that are full of scientific facts and plain, simple diagrams or photos that leave me a bit deflated. I can honestly say that this book did the exact opposite. It spoke to me with Louise's easy to understand hints and tips on creating a patch of garden, no matter how big or small, and whether new to gardening or experienced, that can be created with the purpose of providing your home with cut flowers throughout the different seasons, as well as the art of foraging in hedgerows. This is something I do each year, filling my house each weekend after the usual housework Saturday to cheer the heart and soul!
Louise's ideas for the different flowers, and what makes a good cut flower that would last five days were invaluable, as well as her diagrams for a suggestion of different beds. Her recommendations on the types of flowers to grow were detailed and plain speaking, a joy to read.
The photography is by Jason Ingram, and how I would ooze with happiness if I could take delectable photos of plants they way he does. Each page draws you in and the flower arranging that is shown towards the end of the book is so natural and unstaged, a pretty arrangement to fit into any season including winter in all sorts of containers. Nothing too fussy, just happy, cheery and simple.
As well as reviewing this book I wanted to actually try the information too, so with a few weeks of looking at these two forlorn little beds that were once herb patches (now being moved to the front garden), I was at a loss of what to do with these, especially as during the summer evenings I like to sit under the pergola, so I wanted scent and colour. I am at a loss no more. These two beds will become my Cut Flower Patches, close enough to the house for me to pop out and fill a vase, and also to put together a posy for the garden table. Yes, my creative juices are flowing! The bulbs are already in, just a bit of removal of the remains of some herbs and weeds (and pots that have flown through the air!).
So, a visit to the garden centre was required and a happy time was had by slowly filing through the seed packets and cross referencing them with Louise's book. The wind and rain were blowing a storm outside but I was in a happy place, dreaming of what will be. I came back and looked at my poor, lonely green house and stacked up the seed packets. They looked like a little bundle of colourful fabric, seeds that will produce a flower blanket.
The garden gloves look hopeful and the stacked pots are waiting patiently to be filled. The green house staging will need a bit of cleaning but once again this handy little haven will soon be a productive room once again. These two patches of garden will now go on a little journey this year and I will be capturing the changes on my blog to show you the progress.
So yes, you may have gathered that I was incredibly happy to review this book and enjoyed every page. Including the fact that I won't be buying flowers for the house this year as my own flower market will be outside dancing with the bees and the hover flies. More money for seeds next year!
And now for the information you need if you are interested in this great book. If you would like to order Louise's book which is published by Frances Lincoln / @Frances_Lincoln, the book will be retailing at £20 but you can buy this at the discounted price of £16.00 including p&p), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG101.
Alternatively, you can send a cheque made payable to: LBS Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3RB.
Please quote the offer code APG101 and include your name and address details.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
I am so happy that I have just completed my first garden post for this year (and my first book review - it's been fun), it's made me long for the spring weather and to fill wheelbarrows with compost once again and seed trays to nurture... I'm easily pleased!
Enjoy your spring dreaming!
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