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Want a gardening book for Christmas? Dont hurry as there is only one left!


By drc726


Have you been to B&Q lately well I have and all I heard repeatedly was the promotion of a series of gardening books! As a matter of policy all stores are promoting Alan Titchmarsh why I wonder?
So I did some research! It seems that on the eve of the Chelsea Flower Show 2010 B&Q ousted a series of gardening books by Dr Hessayon from its stores and replaced with celebrity Alan Titchmarsh as its sole expert gardening author!!!
Yet Dr Hessayon’s books outsold Mr Titchmarsh’s nationwide in 2009 by 16 to one. Alan Titchmarsh’s books are so like Dr Hessayon’s that you could be forgiven for confusing them.
They are the same size, shape, both have 128 pages and are even by the same publisher. The topics covered seem the same too. Mr Titchmarsh’s books Flowering Shrubs, Growing Fruit, and Lawns, Paths And Patios are in the style of Dr Hessayon’s The Flowering Shrub Expert, The Fruit Expert and The Lawn Expert. It is sad that big firms like this can decide that are celebrities experts and give them sole coverage in their stores.
In 1958 ‘Be Your Own Gardening Expert’ started a major innovation in gardening books and in 2008 the Expert guides celebrated their 50th anniversary and the 50 millionth copy in print. They had become the bestselling gardening books in history. Their creator is Dr D G Hessayon it seems he is a nice non pushy man who is also very private and shuns the limelight.
This is why I hate ‘big companies’ they take away our (the consumers) choice with their monopolies, they do deals that make them and the celebrities rich. Why I ask is there not room for both? Well I want choice and I will shop where I can still pick what I want.

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hi drc,i noticed this on Sunday.. only ATs book on sale i thought it was a free catalogue as it was in the D.I.Y. stand for free pages on tips & hints then i noticed it was (i think ) £6.99. i agree with you i will buy where i have a choice.. thanks for bringing this up..:o)

6 Dec, 2010


As a matter of principle I always try to buy from independant over chains any day of the week. It's not always possible, nor practical, and frequently costs a couple of quid more. But it's precisely because of these underhand tactics that I've made this choice.
This applies to supermarkets too. A local shopkeeper has been forced into a position where he trawls the supermarket specials - he reckons that 25% of the time he can't "buy that cheap" from the wholesaler.

7 Dec, 2010


Yes I love these books - I have a few of them. I think they're probably my favourite ones

7 Dec, 2010


I noticed the change too at my B@Q. The Hessayon books were reduced for clearance so that Alan Titchmarsh could take over the gardening world.

7 Dec, 2010


That is so unfair , I have always loved the Dr. Hessayon books ... I'm having problems seeing where all this hyped up stuff is coming from for Alan Titchmarsh ... he's on practically everything you see today !

7 Dec, 2010


I understand the irritation with Titchmarsh, he's certainly ubiquitous these days, but let's not forget, he is, first and foremost, a horticulturalist and gardener, and a very good one at that. I'd heard about his Hessayon style publications, haven't seen them, but if you still want Hessayon, Amazon has them, often much cheaper than anywhere else too. Mind you, Titchmarsh's coffers must be overflowing by now...

7 Dec, 2010


I agree with Bamboo, AT is an RHS or is it Kew qualified, time served, with his local council, gardener. If his books appeal to the TV viewers then lets be greatful that his book sales will encourage others to garden. His are no different to the books by percy thrower that my parents swore by.

However I agree we should have freedom of choice when we wish to buy anything.

7 Dec, 2010


Kew qualified, Seaburngirl - the hard way, lol!

7 Dec, 2010


exactly, a proper gardener, with true info to share.

7 Dec, 2010


I hope we dont come down to one expert knows all! I wont buy them until I am given choices.

7 Dec, 2010


I agree Drc after all look at the help/advice given here it is wide and varied and not always in agreement. But we know what happens in our experiences.

7 Dec, 2010


We do SBG and I love the interaction on here of different experiences having their say. I have certainly learnt things on here that have come from tried and trusted methods.

8 Dec, 2010


You do have choices, though Drc - just not at B & Q, by the sound of it, lol! And one must bear in mind that, despite the Hessayon books being pretty useful (I'm always recommending them) they were originally only published to make money for PBI Industries (original makers of Baby Bio), by whom D. G. Hessayon was employed. Which is why he recommends their products throughout the series...

9 Dec, 2010


I really think its a matter of what appeals, I like AT's easy going dry humour and he makes me feel enthusiastic, Carol Klein's earth covered fingers and down to earth simplistic approach appeals also. I cant relate to Chris Beardshaw or Joe Smith (nice bloke tho he seems) and Monty Don (another nice bloke) seems to look for too many inner meanings for me. And many would disagree with me. But what I think we all agree on, is CHOOSING who to watch and read and where we buy it from. I might go for the cheapest book available, but its the book I want to buy, not what I am forced to buy. So I scatter my hard earned largesse among a variety of places and while we can do this we will have choices. So I agree that big companies like supermarkets and superstores are not the be-all and end-all much as they try. Not while we are alive and kicking anyway!!

19 Jan, 2011

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