The Easy Fruit Garden by Clare Matthews

The Easy Fruit GardenI do not understand why New Holland wanted to release this book in New Zealand. It is a nice enough book but of precious little relevance to New Zealand growing conditions. It is just so very English – in fact so English that it refers to John Innes number two and John Innes number three with the assumption that the reader will know that these pertain to potting mixes. Jostaberries, sloes, hoverflies and hazels – it is just so redolent of English gardening.

There is little of relevance for New Zealand gardeners. The cultivars they grow are different. Pests and diseases are often different. There is no information to guide NZ gardeners on the climatic ranges of plants. I don’t think citrus are even mentioned, yet they are one of the mainstays for many of us. Yes some of the techniques are transferable but in a colder climate with slower rates of growth, they just garden differently from us.

You would probably only want this book if you are a nostalgic Brit or you are planning on moving to rural Britain.

The Easy Fruit Garden by Clare Matthews (New Holland; ISBN: 978 1 84773 858 5) reviewed by Abbie Jury.

First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.