Part of the introduction on this book's dust jacket reads as follows: "The key to natural gardening is to build creatively on the natural environment. The natural gardener does nothing to harm the animals or plants in the world around us. but instead, gardens to attract an abundance of wildlife. Val Bourne's flower filled Cotswold garden is a natural garden. It is full of healthy plants that provide interest throughout the year, from the snowdrops and hellebores that start the flowering year in February, to the autumn border that lights up the garden in October. Following a year in her garden Val Bourne explains the strategies that she uses to attract the bumblebees, beetles and other creatures that interact with plants in a complex web of life to become her 'living jigsaw' of helpers. She shows how it is possible, to wherever you garden,to work within natural principles and overcome difficulties creatively to make a garden that is not only wildlife friendly but also beautiful."
The book is illustrated throughout with photos taken by Val and by the award winning photographer Clive Nichols. Taking the reader through the seasons it the book focuses on plant choices and their impact on the creatures that may live in or pass through your garden. You can read a thoughtful review of the book over at Veg Plotting. If you would like to have a chance of winning this book all you have to do is comment on this post by the end of next Friday (29th March). Unfortunately I will have to restrict entries to UK gardeners only because of the cost of postage.
In the meantime I have to confess to taking a perverse pleasure in the colder than normal temperatures, as it means that I have not missed the boat with any sowing activities. The sweet peppers that I sowed sometime in the middle of February seem to have gone into suspended animation but are sturdy seedlings. Some of the tomato seedlings that himself has been caring for are on the leggy side. No worries though I have time to sow more. He has more than adequately coped with the arrival in the post of one or two special snowdrops and some strawberry plants, which have been potted up and neatly labelled. I was most impressed. This weekend I will be sowing sweet peas and peas trusting that the weather must warm up soon.
Thanks to all of you who have sent your good wishes for my mother's recovery - your thoughts were much appreciated. I am glad to report that she is is much improved although still not a hundred per cent. Hopefully some warmer weather will see her further down the road to good health.
I will announce the winner of the book in a post over the Easter weekend. Have a good weekend.