Wednesday 9 March 2022

Coffee Table Book Gardening.

 The weather is very wet here in Ireland this week.  If it wasn't for my polytunnel I don't know what I'd do.  That would make another verse to Billy Connolly's "If It Wisnae  Fur Yer Wellies" song". 

Talking of wellies I stepped on a nail on a plank of wood the other week.  Luckily I didn't injure myself but one of my wellington boot let's water in.  Being a tight wad gardener my wet wellington foot  now wears a plastic carrier bag. 

Any road we went shopping in a local charity shop yesterday and I came home with these two hardbacks gardening books:

We paid the kings ransom price of two Euros each for them. They were thirty Euros/Pounds each when new. 

Geoff Hamilton's Paradise Gardens is a a gem of a gardening book and I watched him avidly and he's one of my favourite television gardeners along with Geoffrey Smith, Monty and (dear old Nigel), Carol Klein because she's from Lancashire and eats and drinks gardening and Bob Flowerdew who I mentioned the other day.

The other book is Around The World In 80 gardens by Monty Don.  There's lots of nice pictures of gardens from around the world.  I would love to visit Sissinghurst next time in Kent.  

My two favourite gardens in Blighty were Heligan in Cornwall and Cholmondely in Cheshire complete with its Italian sunken garden and quintessentially English  tea rooms.

Over here in Ireland I would choose Muckross House gardens (completely  free) and lakes, Bantry house, Garnish Island in Glengarriff.  George Bernard Shaw wrote Saint Joan there.  Dereen gardens in Lauragh over on Beara from us have wonderful Rhododendrons and seaside walks and Kells Gardens on the ring of Kerry.  With it's magnificent tree ferns.

Which is your favourite garden to visit? I would love to visit Japan.  Peasholm park gardens on holiday in Scarborough inspired me to like Japanese gardens.

Yes there's going to be some good coffee book gardening book browsing.  I wonder if there's any carrot cake in the cupboard?


  1. Would you pay €2 to ransom a king? I've wanted to go to Sissinghurst for years, heaven knows what was stopping me - thinking I had plenty of time to get around to it possibly. I can confirm Heligan is amazing - all the more for having been lost and found again. How do you completely lose an estate garden?

  2. Hi Tigger. Heligan is amazing isn't it? The gardeners graffiti in the bothy in the walled kitchen garden is incredibly moving when you think they left Heligan to fight the Great War for king and country and never returned to see it in all it's majesty. Thanks.

  3. I'd just love to wander round a garden full of colour and different scents. I don't think I've ever visited a big public garden. My sis in law in NZ has a beautiful garden full of colour and variety. It's a real delight

  4. May is my favourite month of year when you get the scents and colour you describe Linda. The darling buds of May. It would be great to see your sis in law gardens in NZ on your blog.

  5. My favourite gardens would have to be Kew in West London. I went there for my sixty fifth birthday. I love the name Bob Flowerdew - it seems perfect for someone who is passionate about gardening. Someone passionate about railways could be Bill Stoker or Dave Buffet-Car and a woman passionate about jewellery could be Pearl Diamond.

  6. I would love to vit Kew gardens YP. I think Alan Titchmarsh trained there? I remember Sue who writes the My Quiet Life in Suffolk blog met Bob and he's actually called Bob Flowerdew. What an amazing name for a garden celebrity. Pearl Diamond jogged me my mental jukebox and I am singing Elkie Brooke's "Pearl's a singer". Great names.

  7. I grew up around the Kew Gardens area, just a bus ride away, and used to visit quite often. It was a lovely spot to wander around and sit on the grass to eat my sandwiches, admiring the view.

  8. Great memories JayCee. I remember Eliza Dolittle (My Fair Lady or Pygmalion, second GBS reference today) when she was a flower girl. Suppose that was Covent Gardens?

  9. I follow Monty almost religiously but as a confessed scrap-gardener, I have more in common with Geoff Hamilton. I too could have paid up to £2 for that book, only slightly envious.

    1. Hi Onevikinggirl. I like Monty for his humble and laid back approach to gardening. Geoff was also very humble and practical and could make anywhere look like a part of paradise. I am a Womble and carboot sales and charity shops are always on my agenda to visit.

  10. I loved Billy Connolly when he was at his best. The thing I remember most was the big plastic pants for incontinence that had drawstrings around the ankles and you could just fill them up, he made out he had a job to move his legs in the end because they were so heavy, it's making me smile while I'm typing, lol

  11. Hi Briony. His ancestors come from Ireland like you and me. He must have had a great comedian apprenticeship training to be a welder in Govan on the banks of the Clyde? Oh what characters and stories he must have met and found. A very funny man.

  12. Several of these comments refer to Kew Gardens - this has to be one of my favourites although I last visited it in pre-decimal days when the admission charge was just 3d! Another favourite of mine is the Oxford University Botanical Garden - for a year I lived on accomodation overlooking this and with private out-of-hours access - heaven!

  13. Thank you Will for your comment. I find it wonderful that we all have our favourite garden paradise where we live. Gardens are not just visual they are also therapeutic and create fantastic memories and a wish list to visit.


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