[purchase/affiliate] I bought this book a couple of months ago and have so enjoyed it. Whether you have a tiny patch, a balcony or a sprawling garden, the author. Laetitia Maklouf, has a way of cutting through to the things that really need doing to maintain whatever you have in the way of greenery.

The Five Minute Garden

As my lock down distraction activity, I finally paid our garden some attention. But, coming at it with only the most basic of knowledge, it was daunting and immediately obvious how much I didn’t know (and still don’t). I did a lot of Googling and watching You Tubes on gardening know-how but ended up more confused than ever – everyone assumes you might know something but there’s very little for absolute beginners. The book goes month by month, listing the essential jobs. First on the list for August is ‘get rid of anything brown’. I can do that! Obviously, there’s a little more – how to do it for example, but I’m encouraged from the get-go by the simplicity of that instruction. Every chapter is broken down into digestible chunks – and doesn’t assume that you have a lavishly filled garden so you don’t get baffled by irrelevant points that only apply to serious gardeners.

The Five Minute Garden

There are plenty of plant suggestions as well as pointers for wildlife such as how to keep your garden creatures more comfortable during the heat such as grouping plant pots together to give a damp and darkened spot for frogs to hide in and leaving small dishes of water filled with stone in the garden so insects can land and drink. Over time, I’m learning more (such as plant names) and finding a rhythm – I got a bit obsessed with sourcing tomato plants at the beginning so now I have what is more or less a tomato farm on my patio. Successes have been nemesia and geums which I had never even heard of before but there they are in my garden absolutely flourishing. Nobody is more surprised than me (and possibly my mum!). If you need to know when to chop lavender, how to deadhead or how to tie in climbers, I’d really recommend The Five Minute Garden as a way in to the seemingly impenetrable world of gardening. It’s £7.72 HERE.

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