Stefan Buczacki

ALISON CROOSE King's Lynn Festival event at the Guildhall of St George, King's Lynn

ALISON CROOSE

Decking and water features were never mentioned in this fascinating and informative evening with one of the most respected gardening experts in Britain.

One sensed that fashions in gardening would not interest this guru. That is why the subject of his talk – and his 51st book – was Common Sense Gardening.

Buczacki believes people should garden according to their lifestyles and what they want from their gardens. He made it clear that he would not preach and would only advise on the basis that a particular strategy had worked for him in his one-acre garden near Stratford-upon-Avon.

He stressed he would have no dealings with dogma and his comments about different garden designs during his illustrated talk proved he is very pragmatic. Even this distinguished authority admitted that herbaceous borders were beautiful but labour-intensive and not very practical for most people.

It was good to hear Buczacki admit that, like many of us, he is an impatient gardener and had suggestions for short cuts.

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The sensible advice came by the wheelbarrow load. From aphids to alpines, bulbs to buddleia, compost to clematis, his talk, and responses to questions, contained spadefuls of useful tips.

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