Hi and welcome to #BiteSizeSaturday! Today, I’d love to tell you more about two garden almanacs that I happened to spot on Karen Mace’s blog (ICYMI) and wanted to find out more about. I assumed that UK gardening would be essentially the same as gardening in Belgium, and I was happy to find I was right about that, encountering plants that are in my own garden, as well as birds and wildlife that I have spotted there.
The first almanac that I read (and not just now, but ever) was The Gardener’s Almanac 2024 by Greg Loades. This is a comprehensive almanac that really charmed me.
Every month starts with an introduction highlighting the beauty of the month that will be discussed, as well as sunrise/sunset and weather charts.
For every month, there are tasks listed and explained with things to start, such as planting new hedges, and things to finish, such as harvesting your pumpkins. Every month, there is something to prune and something to savour and also a thrifty project, from taking cuttings to maintaining your gardening equipment. There is a head gardener’s job of the month, as well as plants and birds of the month, and wildlife to look for, including tips and tricks to help wildlife by doing (or not doing) a few things around your garden. There are also garden events listed for every month and which National Trust Gardens are at their best. A page to write down your notes for next year (what worked this year and what didn’t, what would you like to try next year) concludes each chapter, and sprinkled throughout are quotes, e.g. by Emily Brontë and William Wordsworth, as well as garden(ing) trivia.
I definitely learned a thing or two and I’ve already jotted down a few things to keep in mind for next year.
The RHS Garden Almanac 2024 by the Royal Horticultural Society is equally, if not a little more, comprehensive.
Each chapter lists what to do in the garden, in the fruit & veg patch, and indoors. I really loved that indoors section. And since all the information is so neatly organised, it’s the simplest thing to find what you need or skip what doesn’t apply to your gardening situation.
The “Plant now” section not only lists plants you can plant in any particular month, but also includes photos, which I found very useful.
Each month also comes with a DIY project, like how to create an easy terrarium, as well as sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset and rainfall charts.
Every month, the veggies and fruit in season are highlighted, and there’s even a recipe included. There’s also an overview given of the challenges of the month, as well as animals to look out for, one plant that is typical for the month is examined more closely and the month ends with garden tales, which include a bit of history (e.g. how poinsettias became Christmas flowers) and a bit of legend and folklore (e.g. summer solstice superstitions).
Having read both of these almanacs in a short span of time, I can’t help but compare them and I personally prefer the RHS Garden Almanac because of the indoors section, the photos, the recipes and especially the garden tales, but of course those are just my personal preferences and interests. If you’re in the market for a garden almanac to help you keep track of things and give you gardening advice throughout the year, you really can’t go wrong with either of these.
Both of these almanacs are out now. Massive thanks to the publishers for the eARCs. All opinions are my own.