The 10 Minute Gardener’s Diaries – Fruit Growing, Vegetable Growing and Flower Growing by Val Bourne, published by Bantam Press.

There’s a plethora of gardening books available and inevitably they start to look very similar. It’s difficult to find books that capture my attention and that I feel I will want to go back to. So I was very happy to discover this collection of books.

The author and experienced horticulturist Val Bourne writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph and is a member of 2 RHS panels, which assess trials of dahlias and perennials for the AGM awards.

I loved the style of the books. The covers are very pretty with their engraving style designs, which gives them a classic feel. There are no photographs but the books don’t suffer because of this. An amazing amount of information has been condensed into relatively small books.

Each book is divided into months with tips, tasks and secrets of success for that month. There is enough information to keep even the most experienced gardener interested with tips such as laying winter jasmine on its side in a long trench when you plant, it will shoot along its length, establishing more quickly. There are also titbits such as when the term ‘watering can’ was first used.

There is a little bit of repetition with rhubarb covered in both the vegetable and fruit books and details of using fertilisers, but this is inevitable when trying to give comprehensive information across the 3 titles.

I can certainly see myself using these books at the start of each month and making notes of what I should be doing such as what plants I should be feeding. The format and size of the books means they are easy to slip in a bag and pick up to have a quick read during your lunch break or if you’re on the train.

I think the books are good value at £9.99 each. They could make great stocking fillers, a gift for someone with their first garden or just as a treat for someone who wants to snuggle up this winter in front of the fire with a book.

Available from the 29th September.

Thanks to Kate at Transworld Publishers.

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