Pictured above, the back cover of Jane Powers book, The Living Garden which has of recent been republished auf Deutsch/ in German. As you can see it comes with a quote signed off by Peter Donegan. That would be me of course.
Ob für den angehenden oder den erfahrenen Gärtner, ob für den Balkon oder einen großen Landsitz – Living Garden ist eine Bibel für alle, die den Wunsch verspüren könnten, mit dem Gärtnern anzufangen, und für die, die schon einen Garten haben, ein Handbuch, das voller Anregungen steckt, zu eigenen schöpferischen Ideen anregt und Probleme lösen hilft.
Potential or expert, Balcony or Estate, The Living Garden – is – a bible for those who may wish to begin gardening and a problem solving, idea generating, creative mind stirring directory for those who have a garden.
Although the book review was done on this garden blog, my interview with Jane aired on The Sodshow, the garden radio show I present when I’m not creating gardens and hence the reference to www.sodshow.com
As one can gather… I have quite a vast and varied gardening book collection. But recently I have found it quite extremely difficult to buy anything that could be considered original. Even more difficult than that is to find anything at all original and Irish.
I did email hughes and hughes. I also emailed easons. For those outside of Ireland they are probably Irelands biggest retailers of books. I queried who selected the books for the gardening section…. it was some time ago now but I got no answer.
Once again, I was in Waterstones [not the most Irish] book shop on Dawson Street. Yes folks, when I’m not scouring the aisles looking for nouveau paraphernalia I am looking for new reading material. 😉 Waterstones deserve massive applause. They don’t know me. I don’t know them…. but we have more books in common than other book shop in Ireland.
A lot of them are specialist, or coffee table style books – but a higher than others percentage are Irish, written and referenced.
There are two main issues. Or two things I look for when choosing a book. The first is, is the book of any use or is it just a rehash of something that has already existed. Most recently, you will find that has appeared in the ‘organic’ or ‘grow your own’ department. Formerly it was simply called growing fruit and vegetables. But en vogue labelling obviously sells.
The second issue, after I narrow it down to a book I like is, as I can gather, is that most books are published for the UK market. That’s absolutely fine. But when it comes to the reference bit at the back… they are all UK companies. If for example it is to do with recycling…. it makes the book of very little use.
I know there are great books out there. I know there are great independent book stores out there. I am not all wishing to knock here. I am I suppose hoping it may [at the very least] improve the quality of what is for sale on the market at this moment in time. To those who don’t have grandiose garden book collections… it’s very akin, to analogise, to only being able to buy Stock, Aitken and Waterman music.
Whilst I am on the subject, there are always those a little more amazing and unique at their job…. If you do know one of them… go ahead and give them a mention.
If this post makes a difference, a publishing house wishes for me to review their garden books… a book shop wishes to put their message out in response to this – I am more than happy to do so. From this maybe we will all gain…. All you have to do is contact me.
Ever wanted a book with a little something… a little different… a little refreshing…. a breath of bloomin’ fresh air….?
Look no further. 😉
By Paul Cooper – this isn’t really ‘a book‘, so to speak….its more a collection of designs from various garden designers using ‘modern materials and technologies in creating innovative and individualistic gardens to suit contemporary lifestyles’.
It cost me €21.55 [Waterstones Dawson Street by the way] which is pretty good value for money considering the massive amount of high quality and brilliant images that engross the 190 page plus book.
Whether its scaffolding or polyster or fabric and rope you would never have thought could be incorporated into an outdoor space – or maybe a garden designed using kenetic energy or a water feature that make a gurgling noise, instead of the usual trickle – it’s all here.
Extremely well documented, detailed and exampled – this really is one for those who minds allow a slight stepping into ‘the conundrum actually looks fine as it is’ way of thinking. Can’t fault it. Love it! Genius. It’s also a heck of a lot better than some of the regurgitated clap trap that covers most shelves. Being quite honest.
One thing I did realise is how minute [if at all] a market for outside-of-the-box type designs exists in Ireland. And Don’t I know all about that one 😉
A celebration of gardens in which man-made materials such as plastic, perspex, steel, glass and textiles have been used to create gardens more in keeping with contemporary design and lifestyles. Paul Cooper has chosen the best examples of urban spaces for those who want an unconventional garden, or a garden for pleasure rather than constant labour.
Mitchell Beazley. First published 2001.
I like this book. A little more expensive than my last book review at €44.70 – but well worth it.
I had about three of Johns book in my library up until recently… but very unfortunately they [and a large amount of others] grew legs and decided to go walkies 🙁
To put in context how good John is – he was awarded an MBE for services to horticulture 😯 That’s damn good.
As a result, one ‘may’ think that Johns book would have the pants bored straight off you… but if you look [not even] quite closely you will see that the square root of so many gardens of today are equal to that of John Brookes designs. On the go since before The Beatles made it famous – and he is still in fashion.
The best of the case studies of Johns work are included from Zespol Palace Park [poland], Sprinhill Grove [australia] to Samarés Manor [chanel islands] the list goes on….. and he’s done them all. What is likeable also about this book is that it is coffee table style and beautiful enough for a non-biblical-botanist to browse through…
For myself I like the insight into the mans past and his career. Admirable. Astonishing. Love it.
It is time to cut out what we do not need so we can live more simply and happily. Good food, comfortable clothes, servicable housing and true culture – these are the things that matter.
I absolutely love this book. I love the ‘classic guide for realists and dreamers’ for which I am probably both 😆 Funnily, it was first written in 1975. Now, a little moreso it is considered ‘the’ bible.
Is it because of changing times? Is it because we are going full circle back to the days of old? Even the quotes from John are inspiring… but also how it should be…?
The thing about this book… is it tells you what to do with the fruits of your labour. Be it cooking, storing, growing – a small garden or an acre… It explains it so anyone can understand. It is about having a go, taking it easy and enjoying the great outdoors. It is the reason why John is considered the ‘Godfather of Self Sufficiency’.
The reason why I haven’t reviewed this book until now? It’s because it was being used and it was in the house 🙂 I paid €29.90 for it – some time ago.
Nothing should be wasted on the self sufficient holding. The dustman should never have to call
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