Garden Design by David Stevens is a fairly simple book. It explains that every garden is different, but then goes on to describe different types of garden and has a few case studies thereof.
I read this book in virtually one sitting on a train back from Cumbria and can't say I learned a great deal from it other than to start with a plan and sketch what you would like the garden to look like. Then buy and position the stuff you need like plants and accessories and come up with a planting schedule. In truth it's not rocket science but it's more than I have managed to do in ten years of having a garden! I am afraid I have often bought random plants and placed them in random places (a rookie mistake apparently), and rarely been satisfied with the result.
I must admit I had virtually given up on the garden in the last couple of years because in part I never knew what I wanted to do with it, and just ended up frustrated and uninspired. Like many of the non-fiction works I have read though this book has got me thinking, it's been a catalyst to a change in my life, if not a massive direct work of inspiration. I only award it 5 out of 10 but we've been in our garden this weekend actually doing stuff and we're finally working on a plan for the garden more than ten years after moving in! The whole family are involved, and all as a result of reading an average book on a shelf in the library that I normally wouldn't give a glance. Slowly but surely this project is changing my life, and that in turn changes the lives of those around me.
In fact this last week I have been walking the Pennine Way and that all came about because two years ago I read a book from Dorking Library about Long Distance Paths (long before the current project began) and the first chapter was about the Pennine Way. That casual lend got me thinking about walking in Yorkshire and the result has been three trips up there with friends and gradually evolved into a project involving several people. Reading library books really does changes your life: go to the non-fiction shelves and nothing will ever be the same again!
Right onto Book 40, and I have moved on to Food and Drink. The book I chose was all about coffee. In fact that's the title of the book, by William H. Ukers.
I drink lots of coffee although I have struggled with too much caffeine at various times in my life and try to stick to decaffeinated drinks. However like a moth to a flame I keep coming back to caffeine, and I love the drink of coffee even if I sometimes curse it hours later for interrupting my sleep cycle. I really hope that this book doesn't get me drinking lots of caffeinated drinks because I know they're not good for me, but let's read it and see!