Winter great for planning for next year

The new growing season is still a good few weeks away and Brits have been encouraged to use their downtime to swot up and plan for 2011.

According to the Daily Mail, there are a number of great books currently available that could prove to be useful for growers.

Robin Lane Fox’s Thoughtful Gardening was top of the list and is said to be "scattered … with the names of the great and good".

As well as namedropping, Mr Lane Fox also provides a range of practical tips and even a recipe for grey squirrel braised in cider.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Allotment Handbook is also worth a look for those planning to grow fruit and vegetables in 2011.

By asking a number of lifestyle questions, it helps gardeners decide what is best for them to grow.

Other suggestions include The Curious Gardener by Anna Pavord and The Virgin Gardener by Laetitia Maklouf.

In other news, the RHS recently backed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ consultation on banning peat from horticulture products.