I got three new gardening books from Liz this morning! Looking forward to reading them and learning from them in the coming year.

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Having joined the National Sweet Pea society again, Tom Atherton, the rep for the area recommended it as the best current work on sweet peas. I have a copy of the Bernard Jones sweet pea book which was the main book written about them, but this new book by Roger Parsons is fully uptodate. I plan to grow 4 main varieties this year using the traditional cordon method for exhibition sweet peas.

I wanted a copy of a good ‘Pest and disease’ book and the RHS one seemed to have many good reviews. The one many benefits of this book is the quality and quantity of the pictures. Now I’m not the sort of person who always likes lots of glossy pictures in gardening books in place of good information and useful tips and techniques, but for a book like this the pictures are invaluable when trying to find the problem your plant has. It also seems quite extensive; there are 21 pages concerned with leaf problems. Under each picture it names the problem gives a very concise description but then directs you to a more comprehensive explanation of the symptoms, cause and control.

The third book I received is one which was recommended to me by a gladioli grower, Eric Anderson. He has authored a useful book on gladioli cultivation ‘Growing Gladioli’ and is a regular judge at one of the local shows here in the North West. Whilst speaking to him he mentioned that this book was excellent in learning to understand what goes on in the soil. It also has many excellent reviews and I think will make very interesting reading. I noticed that the authors have published another book on a similar theme called ‘Teaming with Nutrients’. So that’s one to add to the wish list!

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