Great Dixter Then and Now

Then and Then and Now!  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  April 15, 2021 Great Dixter, Then & Now is the title and I suppose “Then, Then and Now” would have been too cumbersome a title for this small volume but it would have reflected the contents more accurately for this is a pictorial tour of the garden illustrated with present-day […]


Florapedia  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  April 15, 2021 Carol Gracie – you may remember her from those two fabulous books of hers, Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast and Summer Wildflowers of the Northeast – has just written the perfect book for that impossible-to-satisfy gardening nerd in your life. This is a book which has across the board – I suppose I […]

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 […]