Thursday, October 11, 2012
A Year of Country Gardening - review by Dawn Forbes
BACK TO THE LAND
By Lynda Hallinan
Penguin Group - RRP $45.00
This is a nice, friendly book and reading it must be nearly as good as sitting around a kitchen table chatting with the nice, friendly author.
It is amusing, informative and full of garden gossip: wait till the soil steams in the early morning sun and then you can be sure spring has sprung, and apple blossoms are edible, did you know?
My favourite is that a friend crushes her garlic with cider vinegar to make a general purpose drench. (I was drinking a glass of cider when I read that).
The book starts with family background complete with photograph album and then takes the reader through a year of gardening (southern hemisphere so it all makes sense), starting on June 1st 2011 right through to end May 2012 with each season detailed and photographed so you know what you could/should be doing if you had twenty hectares to play with. But even if you only have a suburban garden, there is so much energy and encouragement in here you will find yourself appropriating more and more of the lawn to accommodate your restored enthusiasm for all things organic.
There are a few good tried and true recipes from grandma, granddad, mum and various friends as well as her own take on familiar dishes, all using her very fresh garden fruit and vegetables (and flowers).
Besides being editor-at-large of NZ Gardener and a regular stallholder at the Clevedon Village Farmers’ Market in
South Auckland, Linda
Hallinan manages her massive garden and farm animals with the help of a very
supportive husband and obliging young son.
Goodness knows where she gets all her energy from but she has produced a very
Dawn Forbes is an Auckland reader and regular reviewer of gardening books on this blog.