Book review: A Green Granny’s Garden, by Fionna Hill.

There was a collective groan here when this book arrived for review. Subtitled: A Year of the Good Life in Grey Lynn – The confessions of a novice urban gardener, it immediately placed itself into that genre of self deprecating wit written by somebody with very little gardening experience. That particular genre has been done to death in this country in recent years. And indeed the author owns up to planting the entire garlic bulbs, rather than individual cloves, into heavy, water-logged soil. But as long as you don’t expect it to be a gardening reference book (although it is written as a monthly record, it lacks an index and there is no attempt to organise the information), then it may be fine as a holiday read. Along the way you may pick up some ideas (the author has ranged widely across a whole range of crops) and there are a few recipes interspersed in the text along with some anecdotes of her overseas travels. Generally the book trips along in an entertaining enough fashion, most likely to appeal to a readership of middle aged and middle class women. Though it should be said that her self justifying anecdote of foisting her friend’s unwanted agapanthus on Hollard Gardens plant share and swap simply beggars belief.
(Harper Collins; ISBN: 978 1 86950 847 0).