Contexting the Book 

One of the supreme joys of gardening is sharing it with friends. There's great pleasure to be had discussing your triumphs and your failures, perhaps over the garden fence, and we all pick each other's brains unmercifully. So you can imagine the great thrill it is for me to be able to share my own lifetime's experience of gardening with you. I just hope you get as much out of it as I have!

I should warn you that the gardening methods within these pages are strictly personal. If you're an old hand you may not agree with everything I say and you may find some of my techniques peculiar. In a way I hope you do, because it's by constant theorizing, discussion and argument that gardeners through the ages have learnt and progressed. But this l can assure you: l have written about nothing that I haven't actually done with my own hands and found to be successful.

The knowledge I've been lucky enough to gain is the result of a lifetime of growing plants. I've never done anything else nor ever wanted to. I've loved every minute of getting my hands dirty and I hope I can pass on some of that enjoyment to you. If I can, I shall be a happy person and you're in for a lifetime of sheer joy.

I hope that Rhizomebook will be a constant companion and will become a trusted friend. If you're new to gardening it should lead you reasonably painlessly through the various techniques you'll need to create a beautiful garden. If you're an experienced gardener, I think you'll get something out of it too, since like me you'll have learned that no gardener, however experienced, can ever know everything about this multi-faceted subject.

Perhaps with another half-a-dozen lifetimes we could get somewhere near! But the wonderful thing about gardening is that, with determination, we can all get there in the end; we can all create a work of art right there in our own back yard - with a little unsolicited help from nature, of course.

On behalf of Team Rhizomebook, 

J. van der Til
Founder and artistic director of Rhizomebook
























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