Book review · Gardening · Non-fiction

Book review: ‘How to be a gardener’ by Alan Titchmarsh

I found this book for 99p in a second-hand shop and thought it might make a useful reference volume. When I got it home and looked at it more closely I decided I should read it right through from cover to cover.

How to be a gardener
‘How to be a gardener (book one)’ by Alan Titchmarsh (2002)

The book was brought out to accompany a television series of the same name sixteen years ago. I don’t remember seeing any of the programme, but in those days I wasn’t particularly interested in gardening.

This is the first in what I think is a two volume set, and it deals with the basics of gardening. In the first couple of chapters Alan explains what plants are and how they grow. This bit of the book took me back to school biology lessons and I was pleasantly surprised when things I’d forgotten I knew began coming back to me.

In the following chapters the book describes how to plan borders, design flower beds and deal with weeds. Going through each of the four seasons, it explains what needs to be done in a garden at certain times of year, and suggests ways to keep the garden interesting all year round.

Routine, and more specific, garden maintenance is gone into in some detail, including a whole chapter on how to look after lawns, and there’s quite a bit of information about how to garden organically.

I read this book over a number of days during my breakfast and each morning I learned something new and helpful. I hadn’t expected it to be such an easy and enjoyable read, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the second book in the series when rummaging through second-hand bookshops.


5 thoughts on “Book review: ‘How to be a gardener’ by Alan Titchmarsh

  1. I think this fellow has had more recent TV shows about gardening and gardens. A book is always good if you can learn new things from it. 99 cents well spent, I’d say.


    1. You’re quite right, Darlene, he’s a British TV gardening stalwart of many years standing and still going strong. I was very pleased with my purchase, it was certainly money well spent.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a book that I could definitely use. I do not consider myself a good gardener, although I have grown lovely hollyhocks….. my husband couldn’t believe it.šŸ˜ I do love old fashioned flowers and I will look for this book.


    1. I’m delighted to hear about your hollyhocks because I’m planning to grow them next year. I keep seeing them in other people’s gardens and getting excited about growing my own. Hopefully mine will be as successful as yours were. šŸ™‚


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