The Sceptical Gardener - Ken Thompson

The Sceptical Gardener is an essential book for any gardener’s library

Should you be looking for a Christmas gift for a garden loving person or ideas for others who might be stuck then I would thoroughly recommend “The Sceptical Gardener” by Ken Thompson – a book of his articles from The Telegraph newspaper.

What I really like about this book is it’s no-nonsense approach to gardening and associated topics. The articles are short (and so it is an easy book to dip into and out of), thoroughly researched and written with the quite a lot off beat facts and figures thrown in as well as debunking many gardening myths.

For example, one article tackles the scare stories that regularly appear around the vast range of deadly flora and fauna in our gardens but this is put into perspective before concluding with the fact that over 5,000 people each year are injured by flowerpots*

There is an entire article of variegation, how it comes about and the difference between pigment and structural variegation. Then there an article looking at the psychology how looking at flowers makes people kinder and more generous. Others investigate the ins and outs of lawn seed, and which was really the best. He pulls up the GQT panel on a couple of occasions, explains why the Swiss Cheese plant has holes, delves into what we mean by Herbaceous, shows why birds can smell trees, that birds affect house prices, rubbish gardening gadgets and that raindrops do not cause leaves to be burnt by the sun.

A very good book indeed that should be in every gardener’s library.

* I had to go away and look this up and it was correct – when I say was, this was about 10 years ago and was possible because of how accidents were recorded when people arrived at A&E. Unfortunately, some bright spark decided collecting this information was too much of a faff and so we won’t have up to date information which is a pity really because we all love to find out how idiotic our fellow human beings can be sometimes.

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