As a passing tribute to Halloween and the Mexican day of the dead, I thought I'd dig up some advice from the past. From a time when wood veneer record players graced ladderack shelves, gold taps were de rigeur for avocado bathroom suites and full page technicolor adverts for Rothmans Select cigarettes sat opposite the gardening Q&A.
I found this near-pristine copy of 1972 House & Garden magazine at a car boot sale a while back. So, it being October, I thought I'd see how much of the gardening was still relevant. The seasonal advice is broadly unchanged - although heavily biased towards lawn maintenance and dealing with leftover summer bedding (no sign of making leaf mould or growing veg). The design tip was very retro - "conifers, always sensational, are now vrey much coming into their own", and Adrian Bloom's just published 'Conifers For Your Garden ' book comes highly recommended.
But my favourite is the advice dispensed to a resident of NW3, who is looking for a tree to plant in their Hampstead garden to screen them from the neighbours. The choice? Yes, of course it had to be the dreaded leylandii, that did for hedging what shag pile carpets did for floorboards. "It puts on three feet or so a year... the unwanted view would not take long to disappear." In fact, he goes on to say, plant not one, but two! I wonder if they are still there and how tall they are now.
Writer, gardener and lover of gardens, plants and all green spaces, especially in cities where grass really does seem all the greener when it has concrete as a companion. I have a small back garden, shared with my husband and dog. A bigger space is a long way off, so for now I'm happy gardening in the neighbourhood and at work, whenever I can and discovering new greenery around town. This blog is about how I get my garden fix in London.