The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley, published by Frances Lincoln (www.franceslincoln.com , @Frances_Lincoln), is a beautiful book. Louise's Wellywoman blog is written with such passion and in such a way that you want to read more, so I had high hopes for the book, and it doesn't disappoint.
As you can see from the contents, it's a comprehensive guide to growing your own flowers for cutting. It takes you right the way from the planning stages through to arranging your flowers.
I particularly like the planting plans. There's diagrams of how to plant up the bed, with a shopping list of which plants you'll need. This will certainly take away the daunting aspect of planning everything out and wondering if you're using the space wisely if you're anything like me.
A section is devoted to cut flowers which Louise recommends, information is given about each plant with hints and tips and reasons for growing it. I love the fact that Louise adds so many aspects to each chapter too. Take Choosing The Right Plant, Louise prompts us to think about wildlife when making our choices, as well as reminding us that not all plants are safe and that precautions should be taken around children and pets. Everything has been thought out very well and so much information is included as well as many hints and tips.
The book contains so much excellent advice. I can see that when I do start my own cutting patch, I will be referring back to it time and time again.
As someone without any artistic flair, I usually end up plonking any flowers I'm bringing in to the house in a vase or jug and letting them do their own thing. The Arranging Your Flowers chapter will certainly set me on the right lines when it comes to showing off the flowers I've grown. Louise shows us all sorts of wonderful ways to display them, including some great ideas on containers to use as a vase.
The photography in the book is by the very talented Jason Ingram. I've spent such a lot of time just flicking through, looking at all the wonderful pictures.
I should say that Louise has also included some images of her own, and they're just as beautiful. Take a look at these.
A sowing and planting calendar and cutting patch calendar is also included. These give an at a glance guide to what you should be doing when.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone interested in creating their own cutting patch. There's so much information contained in it that I haven't yet read it from cover to cover, but I will, it's a book which I can see me delving in to on a regular basis.
The publishers are offering a copy of this beautiful book as a giveaway prize, so if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning it, just leave a comment on this post by twelve noon on Sunday the 23rd of March 2014, after which, a name will be drawn at random. Please note that this giveaway is open to UK/EU only and that I will be passing on the winner's name and address details to the publishing company in order for them to send out your prize.
This is a fabulous prize so good luck to everyone who enters. Of course, Mother's Day is on the 30th of March so you could always drop some subtle hints, or why not treat yourself as the publishers are offering The Cut Flower Patch with the following offer:-
To order The Cut Flower Patch at the discounted price of £16.00 including p&p* (RRP: £16.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG101.
Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to:LBS Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3RB.
Please quote the offer code APG101 and include your name and address details.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.