1-Minute Gardner, by Fabian Capomolla & Mat Pember

1-Minute Gardner, by Mat Pember and Fabian Capomolla, is a delightful book. It really is. I am an aspiring gardener, but my mum is a full-on-feed-the-family type of gardener (the sort that is always calling to say she has too many beans that need to be eaten). We both found his book great.

Let’s start with the layout. It is colourful, accessible and inviting. The book is not text heavy and is really beautifully designed: each information box drawing you into the tips and guidance within. This is a practical book that covers the basic such as when to plant, how to plant, how to rotate crops and how to make the best compost. But it is also packed with ideas and little gems these guys have picked up along the way. Like leaving your root vegetables in the ground until the day you plan to eat them: they will be crisper in the soil refrigerator than the big white box. Also tips for keeping possums from the garden patch – a problem we have living in the country – and ideas for culinary-themed gardens, and a fun way to remove the ever-present snails.

I think beginning gardeners will love this book, but even seasoned gardeners will enjoy the indulgence in their favourite hobby. It is described as “the 70 skills you needs for growing food in small spaces”, but, although these tips work in small spaces, many will work anywhere. Highly recommended.

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Gillian Torckler Gillian writes books for adults and children, has a PhD in medicine, and likes to create cool things from wool. She’s been scuba diving for over 25 years, and collaborated with her photographer husband on several underwater themed books. She lives in North Auckland, and sometimes on the Hauraki Gulf on the family yacht. Gillian enjoys reading fabulous science books and biographies, and almost any fiction except for fantasy and horror. Read more at gilliantorckler.com.

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