Tuesday 21 May 2013

On my reading table - Sweet Peas For Summer

Sweet Peas For Summer - how to create a garden in a year by Laetitia Maklouf.

This book is the story of the author's first backyard garden, and how she got it dug and blooming within a year. Having gardened for a decade in pots and on balconies, she had a strong idea of what she wanted in her garden so was able to get stuck in right away. One of her first projects was sowing sweet pea seeds to have flowers for summer.

The book is divided into seasons with a new chapter for each month.  Each chapter starts with a brief write-up of Laetitia's garden that month, then it has a list of tasks to do in your own garden. Then there are various projects, plantings and plant profiles, each illustrated with a gorgeous photo.

Although the book is aimed at beginner gardeners and I'm well past the beginner stage, I still found a lot to like. The easy, chatty style of writing is fun to read and the photos are beautiful. There are lots of projects which inspired me and interesting tidbits of information.

I enjoyed seeing photos of Laetitias garden, and my only quibble would be that there aren't many pictures of the garden as a whole. I would have also liked a garden plan or sketch to give me an idea of where things were in relation to each other.

Having said that, I enjoyed the chatty, friendly style of writing - pretty much like a blog in book form. While I may not be a beginner any more I still enjoy reading about how other people do things, and of course there is always something new to learn. I think everyone from beginners to experienced gardeners will find something to like here.

Isn't this bowl of hellebores lovely? Can't wait for mine to bloom so I can do this! (I'm also going to pin a flower in my hair and plant sarcococca and hang baskets from my apple tree, as soon as it is big enough.)

I'm linking this post to HolleyGarden's monthly book review meme. She has a great archive of book reviews here now, so do take a look!


  1. Like you, I'm past a beginner book but they make great gifts for family or for a prize at the garden club.
    The bowl of hellebores is gorgeous and all the photos in the book you've shown are inspiring.

  2. Like you, I like a "chatty" style of writing, and anyone that can make a garden in one year surely has some tricks that I need to learn! This one is going on my ever-expanding list! Thanks for joining in!

    1. The good thing about gardening is that there is always something new to learn! And it helps when it's an entertaining read as well.

  3. Great review. I think we bloggers are often guilty of showing the macros and not the garden as a whole. I am trying to correct that mistake, and wish more bloggers would do so. P. x

    1. I know, and when I read about people's gardens I'm always trying to picture the whole thing in my head. A photo makes that easier! I like in magazines where they do a drawn plan of the whole garden. One of these days I'll do one for mine!

  4. This definitely looks like a book I would enjoy even though I have been gardening for years. Thanks for including so many photos of the pages. That is very helpful. I will be adding it to list of books to read.



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