Friday, 22 March 2013

Just Because ....


Just because it's officially spring (despite the heavy snow falling outside) and I'm back home after spending most of the last month away, I am celebrating with a give away - a paperback copy of Val Bourne's book 'The Natural Gardener'. Val writes regularly for various gardening magazines and is a regular contributor to a national newspaper gardening supplement. She is also the author of several books all of which I have greatly enjoyed.

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.

16 comments:

  1. I'm so pleased to hear that you're mum's on the mend, Anna. It must have been a worrying time for you. This book sounds just up my street, I always try to garden with wildlife in mind, so if I'm not the lucky winner, I shall put in on my list of books to look out for.

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  2. So glad to hear that your Mum is a bit better, it is very worrying when you are far away and not just round the corner.
    I already have Val Bournes book and agree with everything you say, it is a fantastic book, one that I keep re-reading.

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  3. I always read Val's column in the Telegraph I love her style of gardening something which I try to emulate - though not as successfully as she.

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  4. What a lovely photograph on the front,it is not a book I am familiar with but the write up sounds lovely.Glad to hear your mum is improving and hears wishing for the sun for her and all our gardens

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  5. I dont think it is Spring at all, not if the snow outside is anything to go by. I am wondering if when the cold goes whether we will suddenly get very warm and be panicing. However, I am going to adopt your approach and try to convince myself that there is more time to sow things etc. Hope you have a nice rest

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  6. That's a good philosophy re your seed sowing, Anna!I am wondering if Val Bourne's column appears in the weekly gardeneing supplement in the Telegraph as my Mum tries to save some of them for me to read when we visit? Her gardening philosophy seems appealing too. Glad your Mum has made some improvement.

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  7. Hi there, I'm glad your mums on the mend.

    It looks an interesting book, I always try to garden sympathetically with the environment in mind.

    Just need some decent weather now so I can get started.

    All the best. x

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  8. Good to hear your Mum is doing well. I have also not started sowing yet... everything's set up, but the temperatures are just too low. You're right, there's still time, and the later seedlings always seem to catch up!

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  9. Glad to hear your Mum is doing better, and that you are able to be back home. And no, I don't think you have missed anything at all by not having been able to sow anything until now! I've been trying to get peas germinated for over 6 weeks and still no joy, though mange-tout and broad beans have been more co-operative.

    The book looks lovely, and sounds really inspiring. I have such enormous bare patches in my garden at the moment I find it hard to imagine having a garden packed with plants at all seasons!

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  10. What a wonderful giveaway!! I actually already own this book and I think it's great, so your winner should be happy too :) Really pleased to hear your mum is getting better and I hope for some good weather for her too.

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  11. Here's hoping for some proper sunny and warm spring weather soon, to help in your mums recovery.
    The book sounds lovely, I have another one of her books and I do appreciate her gardening philosophy.

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  12. Anna, I'll have to see if this book is available in the US; it looks lovely. I'm glad to hear that your mother is doing better. I hope you are having more of a taste of spring than we are (we have more snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow). -Jean

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  13. This book sounds great, I try to garden in a natural way and to encourage as much insect and other life as possible, though we are overrun with snails and don't get many thrushes in the garden.

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  14. So worrying when parents live far away and need help, and very reassuring when they're on the mend. Spring is so delayed this year, I don't think you've missed anything. I'm not sowing anything until April and even then not until the weather is regularly above 5 degrees! It's only 8 weeks until Chelsea so surely the weather will be warming up soon... :)

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  15. PS. I'm such a buffoon! I meant to say that the book looks great. I love Val Bourne's comments on the Crocus website, very apt descriptions of the plants! Probably one that I should read and add to my heaving shelf of gardening books!

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  16. So pleased to hear your mum is getting better. I think we all need a good dose of sunshine and warmth. I've never known so many people to have so many awful viruses that have laid them low than this year. I blame last year's dreadful summer meaning we didn't get our Vitamin D levels topped up.

    I love Val Bourne's writing so it would be brilliant to be in with a chance of winning her book.

    I'm the opposite in that my window sills are groaning under little plants. I'll come unstuck soon if I can't get them into the greenhouse and cold frames but I have photo deadlines to meet. Is there a warmth equivalent to the rain dance?

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.