Another old gardening book, ‘Adam the Gardener’, which I bought from a charity stall. It cost 3/- (three shillings) at the time and was published by the Daily Express. The dress worn by the woman in the advert on the back cover would seem to date this copy to the 1950s, although I believe Adam was also around in the 1940s. But looking at his face, it could have been the 1840s!
Adam is rather a dour chap: in the three-to-a-page illustrations he looks stern and serious, with maybe the occasional suspicion of satisfaction at a good job well done. The book gives week-by-week, month-by-month instructions: all way beyond anything I could ever hope to achieve, but obviously all really practical and sensible advice. The monthly summaries make it clear what should be planted, harvested and pruned – and when. I think I could make use of them as I stumble my way through the year…
This book has a wonderfully nostalgic feel; it reminds me of the way my dad and his older relatives used to approach gardening. Of course, when Adam the Gardener began, many people needed to grow their own vegetables because of rationing and its aftermath, and they had to be serious and organised about it.
So here’s some advice from Adam!