Friday, 18 January 2013


Given my suspicion that no one is particularly interested in seeing pictures of my garden looking like a muddy pool after our most recent round of deluges, things have been a bit quiet on the blogging front. I'm getting withdrawal symptoms such as shaking and general grumpiness, but hopefully things shall start picking up soon.

This forced absence from the garden does however mean that I've been able to do plenty of reading. Much of this has been non garden relevant, but I have been enjoying catching up on various garden magazines on my new iPad (which shall hereafter be referred to as the Fondleslab).

Moving my addiction to luscious pictures of other people's decades old, lovingly tended gardens to a digital format has had several benefits. The main ones are the halt called to the ever increasing heaps of paper editions (I am totally incapable of throwing magazines away in case I ever want to refer back to them, which of course I never do), and the ability to carry a selection around with me during my travels for work without increasing the already substantial weight of my baggage.

Feeding this addiction and, I might add, taking things to a new level of drool inducing lusciousness, is the recently released app-cum-magazine-cum-videothingy, intoGardens. This bit of shiny swooshy techno-wizardry is masterminded by the eloquent and magnificently be-hatted James Alexander-Sinclair and contains offerings from gardening names such as Cleve West and Laetitia Maklouf. It is broken up into several sections and includes the expected array of lovely images, timely advice, garden visits and book reviews, but with extras. These range from embedded videos, to interactive photos that will give you further information on what you're being shown, and even link through to relevant websites for more in-depth advice and purchasing. I particularly enjoyed the section on garden visits. Most of the magazines I read tend to concentrate on English gardens, but intoGardens provided a range from all over the world. Incidentally, should the powers-that-be at the magazine require someone to undertake the arduous task of flying around visiting these places for review, I'm sure I can find room somewhere in my schedule to accommodate them. They have but to ask.

I am still finding bits in the first edition that I haven't read, and I've just seen in the last couple of days that a new edition is available. Given how good issue one was I'm fully intending to purchase a very reasonably priced subscription.

The only drawback of this marvellous production is that it seems to be available for Fondleslab only. I don't know whether there is any intention to add to this in the future, but for now, this should be reason enough to go out and get one.