Garden Gear - Gardening Books

Book review: Get creative with conifers

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Launched by Timber Press Inc. in August, the site is devoted to the life of the famed English writer, humourist and gardener Beverley Nichols (1898-1983).

Enjoy excerpts from his books, including Merry Hall and Garden Open Today, or be charmed by any one of his many quotes: “To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.”

Nichols' writings span numerous genres-among them myster-ies, children's novels, politics, religion-and even broaden to music and lyrics. A detailed chronology of his life, as well as a bibliography of all his works, is among the various links offered.

The charming watercolours by Elayne Sears are lovely, but impart little sense of place. There are a handful of black and white photos taken when the Gardners moved in; more photos showing how the practical and beautiful were integrated would have helped readers better visualize the scenes.

Included are recipes for jams, jellies, teas and seasonings, and a nifty way to make herbal wreaths-without using floral foam or special wreath form-as well as plant lists of easily found and propagated herbs and ornamentals, especially useful for anyone new to gardening or on a limited budget.

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