A Year Full of Flowers…Sarah Raven

A Year Full of Flowers…with Sarah Raven.  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  March 31, 2021 Here is an exceptionally good book, full or relevant information, practical advice and suggestions to enliven your gardening life. It is an absolutely superb handbook for the enthusiastic gardener. That should be “enough said”; you could stop reading here and go and order it […]

Pollination – Timothy Walker

Pollination  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  March 17, 2021 Pollination: The Enduring Relationship between Plant and Pollinator, Timothy Walker I have a deeply held wish in my aging life that my sense of wonder and fascination at the extraordinary workings of the natural world will never leave me. Nothing makes me feel so young (despite being retired more […]

New Nordic Gardens – Annika Zetterman

New Nordic Gardens – Annika Zetterman  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  March 4, 2021 New Nordic Gardens, Scandinavian Landscape Design – Annika Zetterman Gardens “should be designed with dignity, worked on with modesty and maintained with persistence. This is how we think, how we work and this is what we are.” There is an ethos and a feeling […]

Windcliff – Dan Hinkley

Windcliff, A Story of People, Plants and Gardens by Daniel J. Hinkley  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  January 31, 2021 Daniel J. Hinkley spoke in Dublin around the year 2000, an event organised by the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland at University College Dublin, and I can still recall the anticipation and excitement of attending that talk. He was […]

A Year at Brandywine Cottage – David Culp

A Year at Brandywine Cottage  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  December 24, 2020 David Culp’s writing transports his readers, even those at the other side of the Atlantic, to an enjoyment of his garden in Pennsylvania, USA. It is a gardener’s garden and a gardener’s book, written for fellow gardeners who will understand so very well the happinesses, dreams, […]

The Modern Cottage Garden

The Modern Cottage Garden  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  December 10, 2020 If you were starting out in gardening you would be very well served by this book. It could very well be considered the essential guidebook to the beginner and to anybody gardening in a small space who wished to have plant interest throughout the year. Originally, the […]

Sissinghurst, The Dream Garden

Sissinghurst, The Dream Garden  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  October 24, 2020 With this book Sissinghurst has received what it so deservedly merits, an author whose writings do it justice, for reading Tim Richardson’s book has been an enjoyment comparable to visiting Harold Nicholson’s and Vita Sackville-West’s garden. Both are simply superb. The garden’s creators are no longer with […]

Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast.

Flowers – Wild and Garden!  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  July 31, 2020 Lavish praise, a very generous book review, can be counter-productive for there is within us all that little streak of cynicism which says it may be too good to be true. This is my predicament with Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast, A Natural History by Carol Gracie for I […]

The Wild Food Plants of Ireland – A Review.

Dining on the Long Acre – The Wild Food Plants of Ireland  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  July 14, 2020 Reading Tom Curtis and Paul Whelan’s book, The Wild Food Plants of Ireland, has brought another layer, a greater depth of interest, to my wildflower wanderings along our road in recent days. The damsons on the boundary ditch of the […]

Britain’s Ferns – A Review

Britain’s Ferns – A Review.  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  June 11, 2020 It works! Britain’s Ferns is intended to provide a practical and functional approach to the identification of ferns, and it works! I put it to the test with a number of local ferns and one horsetail and the identification keys, which are at the heart of […]

The Pollinator Victory Garden – A Review

The Pollinator Victory Garden…A Review.  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  February 10, 2020 Small changes in our gardening can make an enormous difference to our world – The “Act locally, think globally” concept could never be applied so effectively! We can each, in our individual gardens, make small changes which will be beneficial to our environment, to the pollinators […]

Modern Plant Hunters – A Review

Modern Plant Hunters – A Review.  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  January 31, 2020 Modern Plant Hunters – Dr. Sandy Primrose. Plant hunters have given our gardens the most wonderful range of plants; we are greatly indebted to these brave, courageous and daring people and Dr. Sandy Primrose’s account of our modern plant hunters is gripping and informative reading […]

Reading Shortlist 2019

The Shortlist 2019  Paddy Tobin  General Interest  November 30, 2019 The Shortlist 2019 It is the end of the year, Christmas is approaching, and it is a time for gardeners to treat themselves and to be treated and few treats are better than a good book. Here is my selection from books published this past year, a […]

Scent Magic – A Review

Scent Magic!  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  November 3, 2019 Isabel Bannerman describes scent wonderfully: Witch hazel has a clean sanatorium smell of pure alcohol and Elastoplast. The crushed gourd-shaped seed pods of Wintersweet, if crushed, smell of dusty cloves, spiced wines and the depths of unused drawers. The rose, ‘Rosarie de l’Hay’ smells of cucumber, tea and laundered […]

A Radical Shift in Perspective

A Radical Shift in Perspective  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  October 3, 2019 Instead of engaging in a constant battle to adapt our gardens to suit plants would it not be better to search for plants that suit our gardens? This would require a radical shift in perspective which has much to recommend it and Olivier Filippi’s book, The […]

Growing Native Orchids

How to Grow Native Orchids  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  October 5, 2019 How to Grow Native Orchids in Gardens Large and Small   Enthusiasts of our native orchids might well fear that a book on growing these precious and nowadays scarce plants in the garden is simply another threat to numbers in the wild but the very first […]