Veg garden classic gets a comprehensive update

May 19th, 2017 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Salads can be attractive as well as tasty

Do you buy gardening books? Or do you get all the info you need here online? Sales of gardening books have declined in recent years as we look for our information and advice online and many gardeners have simply given up buying books. Which is all a bit mad.

It was once said that newspapers would replace conversation, that radio would replace books and newspapers, that TV would replace radio and that the internet would replace just about everything. But the arrival of a new edition of one the great gardening classics reminds us that some garden books are simply essential and this is one of them.

9780711238701 The Salad Garden by Joy LarkcomThe Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom first appeared in 1984, after Joy, her husband Don and their two young children had spent a year travelling around Europe in a caravan on their Grand Vegetable Tour, studying how people all over Europe grew vegetables and which varieties they grew. (Today’s head teachers would have something to say about that…)

Joy put many of the things she learned into practice in her Norfolk garden where she also grew and assessed many of the varieties whose seed she collected during her tour. And choice of varieties is crucial. Even now, so many people who grow veg (and flowers, for that matter) never get beyond “I’m going to grow some lettuce.” Yes, but which lettuce? There are thousands of varieties, all different and all with their own qualities.

Joy’s experience and insight made the first editition of The Salad Garden so special and enabled her to highlight the best of all the salads for organic gardeners, the best for flavour and the best for yield, the best for disease resistance and – still undervalued – the best for their looks. She couples this advice with guidance on growing techniques to create the best all round advice on growing salads there is.

This is the second comprehensive update of Joy Larkcom’s The Salad Garden. Every shed should have a copy.

The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom is published by Frances Lincoln at £16.99.

You can order The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom from

* Next week I’ll be blogging every day from the Chelsea Flower Show, starting on Monday. Please stop by here and take a look.

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Is one of our best known gardening writers. A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graham was previously Gardening Correspondent of The Observer.
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