The Apprehensive Gardener – Review

For most of us who garden, there are often those apprehensive times when we start to worry about our plants. Perhaps one of our plants is under-performing or we have let a clematis get in a tangle and are unsure about how to sort it out.

Help is at hand in Griselda Kerr’s new book ‘The Apprehensive Gardener: Managing Garden Plants‘, a quick reference guide to dealing with a variety of plants and problems in an easy to follow format, designed to reassure beginners and more experienced gardeners alike.

With about 600 genera, around 700 plants and more than 800 entries the book also addresses tree planting, care of wildlife, the importance of mulching and what to do about various diseases.

Because the book is in paperback its handy to have by your side and easy to dip into whether you are looking for information on a particular plant or if you want to skim through a particular month to find help. The fact that the book is divided into months I found particularly helpful as each month starts with areas to consider for that month before going onto the individual plants associated with that month. Look up May, for example, and you will find information on the Chelsea chop, deadheading and cutting back and fan trained or espaliered fruit trees.

At the back of the book there is an index of plants and their care during the year with relevant page numbers for more details under the appropriate month heading. This is particularly helpful as is the Glossary and the list of Common & Latin Names. In fact for the cover price this book is extremely good value.

Griselda spent 20 years living in Hong Kong during which time she used to nip back to her garden in Derbyshire for brief visits. She would often look in despair on her visits at the miserable state of her plants: “Not having a clue what to do with them and having very little time, I needed a general guidebook to help me. But I never found the book I needed,” she says. “For decades I collected the advice of gardeners nationwide and collated the information into months so that when I came back from Hong Kong, rather than apprehensively looking about for things to do, trigger-happy with my secateurs, I could dive into the garden, whatever time of year, to deal with what needed doing NOW.”

Take this book into the garden with you, secateurs in hand and quickly find information you might need there and then. Whether you want to encourage your plants along, know when to cut them down, feed or clip, this handy reference will be invaluable.

Griselda trained in horticulture and garden design at the English Gardening School, Broomfield College and Brooksby College and is a gardener and writer who describes herself as ‘always thinking about plants‘. Her vibrant garden in Derbyshire is regularly open to the public and she regularly posts pictures on Instagram @griselda.kerr

The Apprehensive Gardener: Managing Garden Plants‘ by Griselda Kerr is printed in paperback by Pimpernel Press Ltd – – and priced at £16.99. It is released May 2019.

All images strictly ©publisher and author. The publishers kindly supplied the reviewer with a complimentary copy.