Gardening book review: Adam the Gardener, a pictorial guide to each week’s work by Cyril Cowell & Morley Adams

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had lots of books. So much so that my mother, when I was about 10, actually went to our local library to put a limit on the number that I could borrow at once. Mr Garlic and I have agreed that whilst we won’t spoil the GarlicBaby, we will always allow him to have lots of books. Whilst we were at Hampton Court, I found a new addition to my gardening library, Adam the Gardener

It’s a marvellous pictoral week-by-week guide to gardening, made of a collection of cartoons originally published in the Sunday Express in the 1940s. It’s a rather lovely depiction of tasks that should be completed on a weekly basis and shows a surprising amount of detail. The grumpy gardener, Adam himself bustles about in what looks like a rather fetching panama hat and (Mr Garlic would approve) is so manly that he doesn’t wear a coat even in the depths of winter. It’s really quite inspiring (I feel rather chastised by his serious points about strawberries in this week’s cartoon).

Not only does the book show you, week by week, what you should be doing in all of the different parts of the garden, but it has a useful index section in the back to help you plan your plot by giving you suggestions for layouts and colour schemes:

Rating: 5/5 – This is a lovely little book that would make a great present (especially stocking filler) for any keen gardener. It’s not only an amusing read, it’s a useful reference book that you can dip into every week to get ideas about what you should be up to. A really nice little collection. 

Title: Adam the Gardener
Publisher: Chatto and Windus

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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