My most important book on gardening is now sadly out of print. Amazon advertises good secondhand copies for about £30.
It seemed insanely ambitious to use such a portentous title after so few years experience but Beverley Nichols had said ‘I must write my book soon before I know too much’ and I plunged in, giving myself an intensive self-education. Parts of it seem a bit dated now, but there’s nothing I’m ashamed of. I tackled garden plants styles, skills, environment and history, head on. I still learn from it when I look things up in it now.
Penelope Hobhouse wrote: ‘Whenever I’m stuck on something and don’t know where to look, I turn to Hugh Johnson, and there it is. The Principles of Gardening really is the one gardening book I couldn’t do without’.