It is World Book Day today so I thought I would review my most recent gardening book – The Royal Horticultural Society’s Ready, Steady, Grow – Quick and Easy Gardening Projects. There were no reviews on Amazon when I ordered it so I was not quite sure what to expect. It is 80 pages in typical Dorling Kindersley style – easy to read, plenty of photos and clear layout. It doesn’t state an age range. I would suggest for children using the book on their own from about age 7.
I was slightly disappointed when I first glanced through it, but it has appropriately, grown on me. It covers a number of plant-related projects and the growing of flowers, veggies, herbs and fruit. I liked the way it clearly states how long each of the activities will take to come to fruition, so avoiding raised expectations.
There are some great ideas in the book. Sunflower people grown in tin cans with a painted body on and a face etched out in the sunflower would put a smile on any child’s face. There are two projects on sprouting seeds, an area often overlooked by children’s gardening books. Yet these seeds are simple, easy and fast to grow; a great beginners activity or one for the little ones. I also loved the idea of growing watercress, especially from cuttings taken from a bag of supermarket watercress. Most gardeners grow from cuttings and it is a great skill for children to learn. I shall certainly be trying this one out with my son.
I wasn’t quite so keen on the enchanted path project detailing how to make cement stepping stones in a leaf shape. It also would have been useful to see the book cover relevant web links and where to source some of the plants and materials mentioned. There are other books on the market covering this topic, but if you don’t have one on your bookshelf and what to encourage your budding gardeners then this is the right time of year to buy this book and get growing.