An Illustrated Garden Primer
by C.Z. Guest
This is a book that didn't quite live up to the expectations, for me. I got it through a swap site, thinking it looked like a good little gardening book. With a forward by Truman Capote (who was a friend of the author) and line drawings illustrating the pages by one Cecil Beaton. It's a friendly book, charming in its own way. It presents a simple introduction to gardening with some basic instructions on everything from roses, vegetables, fruit trees, bulbs and houseplants to lawns (the recommendation here being just to leave it alone, no-one has a perfect lawn!) The diagrams on how to plant shrubs, prune roses and espalier fruit trees look very useful, but as I am not growing those plants yet I can't put them into practice. For the rest, it didn't really give me any new information and I found most of the sections too brief to be helpful- encouraging for a new beginner but without the useful tips on problems or engaging humor and descriptive flair I've enjoyed in other gardening books. And the drawings, while lovely, are a bit too large for the pages- they felt almost crude at that size, and I wished for some more delicate line work, or at least a bit of color. O well. First Garden just isn't quite the book for me. I read through it in one sitting, and that's about it.
Rating: 2/5 ........ 127 pages, 1976