It is no secret that less than a year ago I knew pretty much nothing about gardening and plants. OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating a little … I knew the names of a few plants, bougainvillea, roses and lilies spring to mind. I think I also knew about Marigolds, daisies and ferns. Oh and of course I knew all about Ivy, because Ivy was the most prolific plant in my overgrown jungle of a garden. Ivy and a few ferns.

Fast forward ten short months and during a visit to a nursery today I amazed myself by how much I have learnt. Stopping at plants and knowing the proper names, recognising textures and shapes, knowing what would work where … and of course stumbling on a few new-to-me plants, looking at the names and recognising having seen them before on a blog or in a book. It was a most pleasurable (and again educational) two hours spent amongst the plants.

The gardening course I have been busy with promised me in the opening notes that I would no longer go to nurseries and come back with “impulse buy” plants. The course entitled “Planting Design” promised that I would make plans before buying and that I would more often than not leave a nursery without buying anything, if what I had gone there for was not available. Well that was put to the test today … for the first time I discovered Hellebores at a nursery here in Cape Town. Eleven little Hellebores all lined up in a row and I so badly wanted to buy them. But my new ‘plant philosophy’ is that if I don’t have a plan, I can’t buy, so I left without them. A first for me! That’s not to say I won’t go back for them … as soon as I have a plan for them.

But then a detour to Exclusive Books and I succumbed to impulse buying and left with two new books. Pocket books actually, both by the Royal Hortucultural Society (RHS). The first book is RHS Plants for PlacesWith full colour photographs and information for over 1,000 tried and tested plants, this is the pocket-sized guide for trips to the garden centre and nursery.

The second is RHS Good Plant GuideWhether you want to cultivate the classic English rose or grow a crop of climbing French beans, choose plants with confidence with the RHS Good Plant Guide. Recommends over 3,000 trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, bedding plants, fruits and vegetables for every garden situation and with more than 1,500 colourful photos and illustrations.

These are two lovely little books to assist in my continued gardening education 🙂

RHS Plants for PlacesPlants for places

RHS Good Plant GuideRHS Good Plant Guide

I love these little books as they are great reference books as well as being useful to pick up and page through for a few minutes every now again, just to familiarise myself with new plants or to look up known plants for more info. Small and compact they are also easy to pop into a bag in case I do want to take one on a nursery visit – easily hidden in a bag so I don’t go there looking too much like a gardening-nerd!

Off to read about plants
Happy Gardening