Posted by: billpurdue | April 16, 2011

Gardening and Walking

In my next monthly column in the Chad, I will feature gardening books: since there are restrictions on space in any printed newspaper, I couldn’t mention all the books I wanted to, so I thought I would add a few more titles here.


I mentioned that the books by Dr D G Hessayon were probably the most popular gardening books ever –  I imagine almost every gardener will have at least one “Expert” book on his/her shelves .  But there’s more to gardening books than Dr Hessayon’s series, excellent though they are.

Described on the cover as “BBC TV’s One Show resident gardening guru”, Christine Walkden has just brought out her  No-nonsense Vegetable Gardening [Simon and Schuster £16.99 978-1847378644] at the end of last month. It’s only been out a few days, but there is one customer review on Amazon that gives it 5 stars (admittedly from someone who knows her!), so it can’t be bad. I really enjoyed her first TV series about her own garden; the book which came out after the series A Year In Christine’s Garden is still available [BBC £8.99 978-0563539049] from

            Still on vegetables, I spotted Jo Whittingham’s new book Grow Something to eat Every Day in WHSmiths recently [Dorling Kindersley, £14.99 978-1405362276]. I only had a quick browse, but as the title suggests, it’s all about what to grow when and it’s presented in a month-by-month format. This book is now available, in spite of the Dorling Kindersley website still indicating that this isn’t yet published.

 Finally back to the “Expert” series and the latest in the series is The Garden to Kitchen Expert [Expert Books £9.99 978-0903505925]. As you might guess it’s all about cooking and preparing fruit and veg and there are 680 recipes. For this book, Dr (or Dave)  Hessayon is joined by Judith Wills who has been writing for around 20 years : many of her previous titles are about diet and weight loss


Now for a change of topic, but staying outdoors: walking books. I really enjoyed Julia Bradbury’s Railway Walks series on the BBC. The series is currently being repeated on BBC2 and last October the book came out: Julia Bradbury’s Railway Walks [Frances Lincoln £12.99 978-0711231672 – for a signed copy, go to Julia’s website, but you might have to pay more]. Last month her Canal Walks [Frances Lincoln £9.99 978-0711232495] was published, which accompanies her four part TV series – a series I have missed, but I’m sure it will be repeated.

Julia has written a foreword to the Countryfile book Great British Walks; 100 unique walks through our most stunning countryside [BBC £12.99 978-1846078835]. (I do wish they wouldn’t use that word “stunning”!) It describes around a hundred walks spread across the whole of the UK. That sounds great, but realistically, unless you do an enormous amount of travelling, how many of the walks are you going to be able to try out? Still I’d like to have a good browse through it – there’s something nice about armchair travel.


A bit more on libraries


Finally I’m hearing rumours that Nottinghamshire Libraries are planning to introduce fines on overdue books for wrinklies (that’s the over 60s, which includes me) as from next month. I haven’t been able to get any concrete information so far and I’m waiting for a reply to an email from the chief, so I’ll tell you what I discover when I can see something in print.


I hope to do another posting at the Easter weekend, but if I there are too many other distractions, I may be late. So just in case, have a good Easter and happy reading!

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