One Magic Square

Author: Lolo Houbein
Publisher: (Wakefield Press)
ISBN 978 1 86254 764 3 (pbk)

The whole principle of this book is that you can grow your own food on one square metre of garden. “My goodness,” said a friend. “If your garden is only one square metre, you could take it on holiday with you.”

If you are only going to have a garden which measures one metre by one metre, it is a bit of a moot point as to whether you need a book which runs to about 350 pages to tell you how to do it. Yes there are planting diagrams. There is the soup plot. There is the Aztec Plot (that is the one with a marigold in the centre). Then there is the plan for the pasta/pizza plot. How about the curry plot? Maybe you fancy the stir fry plot or the anti-oxidant plot.

If you have the gardening skills to work to this level, odds on you will want to expand beyond one square metre. There is quite a bit of additional information (but nothing that I have not seen before in other how-to guides) and it is written by a woman who is clearly enthusiastic about her topic and has a love of home grown vegetables. But honestly, I need a lot of convincing that it is possible to achieve self sufficiency and stave off famine on a mere square metre of vegetable garden. This book may appeal more to eccentrics rather than the target audience of novices.