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A useful exercise to think about over the holidays..........


…….Alan Titchmarsh books are available at public libraries
or on line.
They provide a rich source of information as he reminisces about his teenage years seemingly being used for mundane work, but all the time he was learning. He spent most evenings pouring over his books, learning the Latin names of plants that he found so fascinating. How many of us
do that ? Learning how to grow them.

The senior staff who worked at the Ilkley Parks Department had an excellent in-depth knowledge of every variety of plant. All the time Alan was listening and learning.

He describes in ‘Knave of Spades’ all the different ways of watering different plants and why. Marvellous.
I am going to copy these into my notebook in alphabetical order, to refer to in the summer months.
That should take me until New Year !

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that's how I learnt [and still am] my biology Diane.
I've enjoyed his factual books and most of his novels come to think of it.

21 Dec, 2016


I'll try to remember to look for it next time we're at the Library. I like finding our what the Latin names mean - but remembering new ones is getting harder every year!

22 Dec, 2016


Yes, I borrowed a couple of his books fr, the library, myself when planning my garden at the last house 13 years ago. He is a very good writer and I find his style easy to read.

22 Dec, 2016


This time of year its good to spend time studying some aspect of gardening we dont have time for in the summer.
Alan writes that books are much better, contain more information, easier to understand. He lists the best.

He also admits to being 'over sensitive.'
Makes me wonder how much we lose when highly intelligent men are bullied into being 'tough' by their
peers. Horticulture is so calming, and encouraging.
He loved the atmosphere in a greenhouse.
Ilkley Council Parks Dept had 13 greenhouses each one
30 feet long. A tremendous amount of work keeping them spotlessly clean. All the pots were washed, all the seed trays scrubbed after every use. All the centre paths were scraped clear of weed growth every Friday.
How that lad worked ! He never complained, spent two hours every evening studying.

23 Dec, 2016


Hi Diane, that sound very much like my apprenticeship , 53 years ago now, every friday afternoon we were taken on a walk around the park, and asked to identify the plants, any we didn't know, we had to learn about for the next week, and the pots and seed trays were washed by the apprentices on days when the rain stopped us from working outside, and we spent hours working in the potting shed mixing different composts, in those days we made all our own composts from compost heaps the size of hay stacks, but as you get older some of the names start to elude you, it's like a tune you know, but can't put a name to, so I haven't read any of his books as I think I've been there, done that, got the T shirt, as they say.
Merry Christmas Diane, to you and your family, and a very happy 2017, Derek.

24 Dec, 2016


I really think now, that more school hours should be spent memorising plant names. Names of the Victorian plant hunters, Carl Linnaes work, plant families etc.
I once met a man who said there are 178 wild Grasses in this country, he had found 100 of them.
So for the August holidays we did Grass Flower Hunting as a project to try and exceed this number. Pinned up a length of wallpaper round the living room, sellotaped the named grass flowers on it.
At the end of 7 weeks searching locally on field walks, in the Lake District, and Isle of Wight (on Youth Hostelling holidays) we only had 42.
He must have found the rest in other areas.
Yet our daily bread originates from these wild grasses.
Wheat, Oats, Barley, Rye all came from Grasses.
How much do children understand about this source of food? How much are they told? Nothing.

27 Dec, 2016


My mother once discovered that some in her class thought that peas are made in factories.

27 Dec, 2016

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