Presumably the average British gardener is either more intelligent or better educated than here. Which is to say that the Brits don’t feel the need to dumb down gardening books to the level of a novice 12 year old and pad them out with lots of super size glossy photos. What is more, they are even allowed an index. This is River Cottage Handbook No.9 – which means it is from the machine behind Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This modest handbook has a mass of good information on growing and caring for fruit trees. The problem is that it is for England which means hardy crops, a reversal of seasons and recommended varieties which are entirely different to here. Common crops here like feijoa, persimmon and citrus are not included at all. So it is not a complete reference for this country but it will tell you a lot of what you need to know about some mainstream crops and the technical information is underpinned by that charm of River Cottage, including a recipe for classic Eton Mess (mashed fresh berries and meringue pieces in sweetened cream).
Fruit by Mark Diacono (Bloomsbury; ISBN: 978 1 4088 0881 8) reviewed by Abbie Jury.