Book review: Moon Gardening by John Harris

Is it ‘lunacy’? This new book promises to reveal the secrets to lunar gardening for plots of all sizes…

John Harris, author of ‘Moon Gardening‘, is head gardener at Tresillian House and Gardens, one of Cornwall’s most attractive and visited estates. Many years ago Harris took on the job of restoring Tresillian’s kitchen garden under the condition that he be allowed to apply the principles of moon or lunar gardening – and today the results speak for themselves.

Moon Gardening by John Harris

Throughout the book, Harris shares credible horticultural knowledge that will surely dispel any fears that lunar gardening is simply “hocus pocus or hippy nonsense” – Harris himself has appeared on BBC Gardener’s World and been featured in several national newspaper gardening columns. This technique is all about planting to the cycles of the moon, taking advantage of optimum soil conditions and moisture levels. It’s about helping you grow more and better for less effort and less cost – sounds like a good plan!

Lunar gardening is an ancient technique (the book refers to how New Zealand’s Maoris have used moon gardening for thousands of years) and Harris encourages us to respect ancient knowledge and use it to our advantage today. Colour photographs of some of the abundant produce grown by this method at Tesillian (including some enormous, and we’re assured flavoursome, garlic bulbs) provide compelling evidence.

It goes without saying that by practicing moon gardening, you’ll almost certainly be gardening organically, or at least with minimal chemicals – Harris also covers more commonly known wildlife gardening methods such as compatable planting.

Gardener’s sketches, charts and calendar plans throughout the book ensure it remains a handy and practical guide, rather than simply an interesting read about ancient lore. John Harris is a trustworthy author and peppers the narrative with charming tales of his own childhood, his first forays into gardening, his family influences and his motivations today.

All in all, a comforting gardener’s handbook full of fascinating (almost magical) techniques that we can’t wait to experiment with!

‘Moon Gardening’ by John Harris (with Jim Rickards) is available in hardback, priced £12.99, from 20th October 2016 (published by John Blake Publishing).

Buy at: Moon Gardening: Ancient and Natural Ways to Grow Healthier, Tastier Food