Book reviews

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My Cool Allotment: Lia Leendertz

I just loved this book. I don't have an allotment but have dreamed about one for years. With the most amazing photos by Mark Diacono and really engaging text by Lia Leendertz this is a gem of a book. It's not a how to but a journey through different allotments and the characters who own them. It's a treat.
You can find out more about Lia from her blog:-


Jane McMorland Hunter: For the Love of an Orchard

This is a wonderful book that blends historical facts and literary comment with really useful, practical advice on growing and cooking fruit - there are lots of recipes! It is interesting in that it looks at quinces and medlars as well as more common place fare. All in all this is both a visual treat and an inspiring read that is well worth buying even if your orchard is only a dream. To find out more about Jane McMorland Hunter and her books go to

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Alys Fowler: The Thrifty Forager

This starts with a charming apology in which Alys confesses to her husband that she has been feeding him all manner of wild foods under the heading of ‘spinach’. Foraging makes one think of wild countryside, but this book looks at the parks and streets on our doorsteps. There are inspiring case studies and a useful directory that tells you where to look for the plants, what to do with them and how to grow them if you can’t find a free supply.
You can find out more about Alys from her blog:

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Dan Pearson, Home Ground: Sanctuary in the City

As readers of The Observer will know, Dan Pearson has sold his house in London and now lives in Somerset. This book is a tribute to the garden he created; a sanctuary of peace and productiveness in the midst of the city. Following the seasons, the book is both practical and uplifting, the text beautifully complimented by Howard Sooley’s photographs.