Monday, 6 February 2012
Too Much Information
Help!!! My brain is creaking after spending a weekend looking through catalogues and books working out what to grow at the allotment this year. When I got my plot some six years ago now, there was a dearth of books related to allotment and vegetable growing. A dear friend sent me a copy of Caroline Foley's 'Handbook of Allotment Planning' to celebrate my good news when I told her that I had got my plot. For some time this was the only reading matter that I had on the subject, not for lack of interest on my behalf but just because there seemed to be so little out there. However this situation has changed and my bookshelves are now creaking under the strain with allotment and vegetable growing titles. Over the last two or three years these titles have mushroomed beyond belief.
Now such riches are all well and good but you can have too much of a good thing. When it comes to information about which variety of what to grow, when to sow, planting distances between crops etc. there are so many conflicting opinions from the experts that I am sometimes completely bamboozled. I do have a staple though which I return to regularly which is Joy Larkcom's 'Grow Your Own Vegetables'. This is the only book which I have ever considered getting a second copy of, as it has now become so dirty through using it at the allotment, I've come to the conclusion that I need a clean duplicate at home. The only illustrations in the book are black and white line drawings but this is immaterial. There are nearly 400 pages jam packed with practical advice and information on growing vegetables. If I was ever to have a rush of blood to the head and just keep one book this would be it. I don't think that this is likely to happen though so I will carry on reading and inwardly digesting, comparing cultivation methods and crop preferences, looking at enchanting photos of perfect plots and going round and round in circle of confusion.
This neck of the woods was not graced by any of the white stuff this weekend but instead we had a mixture of sleet and freezing rain so that the garden was decorated with garlands of icicles. Perfect weather for armchair gardening but not so benign for feathered friends despite a well stocked feeding station. I was glad to be inside looking out.