Maggie’s Garden Diary 2008

Author: Maggie Barry with photography by Sally Tagg

Publisher: Random House, $34.99.

Timed for the Christmas market, I am sure, this generous hard cover diary is likely to be a gift welcomed by most gardeners. At one level it functions as a diary with a week per page and sufficient room on each day for brief notes. But the charm lies in the writing and photography.

Maggie Barry is one of the few people in this country who deserves the accolade of “garden guru”. Her knowledge is encyclopaedic. More than that, she is unfailingly enthusiastic about gardening and plants and her notes and reminders are chatty and to the point. This diary is not a replacement for reference books. There are two pages of writing per month and odd reminders dropped into calendar pages so the information provided is pretty random and eclectic but more fun as a result.

Sally Tagg’s full page close up colour photographs are luscious to the point of mouthwatering. The only thing I would have liked is botanic and cultivar names for the photographs.

The diary is bound sturdily and should last the year easily. A nice gift, either for yourself or to give to somebody else.