The front cover of this 2 DVD set features Lambley Principal David Glenn with snapshots of his vegetable garden.
I recently bought a DVD from Lambley Nursery Gardens located in Ascot near Ballarat in the Victorian Goldfields. This DVD features the vegetable garden of David Glenn and artist Criss Canning and is a true working vegetable garden, not one that is staged for a TV show or built and planted in five minutes on one of the magazine style gardening shows. The price of $39.95 for a 2 DVD set including postage represents good value for this 175 minute production. The production is by the professional crew at Adele Video Production.
It has been a long time since Australia has seen a DVD produced dedicated solely to vegetable gardening. Many years ago through the auspices of the ABC Peter Cundall featured a series of DVDs on vegetable gardening, notably “Patch From Scratch”. Since then vegetable gardening is seen on tv only in magazine snaps without any real substance, each section barely taking more than 3 minutes of air time and often punctuated with a cooking segments as well. Although vegetable gardening and cooking are closely linked vegetable gardeners are looking for detail related to their passion for growing food.
In “Home Grown – An Australian Vegetable Garden” David Glenn covers nearly all the major vegetable groups the home gardener in the southern half of the country could want. Most of the information does relate to growing in cool temperate to cold regions and does not apply to subtropical and tropical crops where the is totally different and weather, rainfall and seasons do not correlate with the southern areas.
There is some spectacular videography clearly taken from a drone and it is used to good effect to show the artistry of the David Glenn and Criss Canning gardens. During the spring and summer segments the vivid colours over the property are simply stunning and the clear geometry of the property is shown in the winter segments.
The inside over of the DVD box shows the seed collection and details the vegetables covered in this series.
Apart from the crops listed above special mention is made of Seville Oranges and many of the herbs needed in a good kitchen garden.
WHO IS THIS FOR?
These DVD’s are for the gardening enthusiast and those who want to know the origins of the food they put in their mouth. At one point David mentions a dinner where some growers refused to eat the product they grew because they know what was put on them going to market! That is the first good reason to grow your own and the other is the freshness and taste of home grown vegetables. Some crops such as sweet corn deteriorate significantly within hours if being harvested.
WHO IS THIS NOT FOR?
The crops in this series are grown from seeds that are also sold by Lambley Nursery and Gardens. David Glenn makes no apology for this and he strongly advocates the use of modern seed varieties rather than heirloom seeds and he develops that argument throughout the videos. If you are an heirloom advocate these videos are still of value for all the information contained in them, much of which applies to all types of seeds and plants but if you are a religious heirloom devotee and cannot tolerate modern hybrids then save your money.
David Glenn presents the narration throughout this series as he does on his “Dry Climate DVDs” and he speaks well and clearly with a soothing and relaxing tone. If you cannot be outside gardening then watching the David Glenn DVDs is a very relaxing way to spend a couple of hours.
David Glenn’s experience as a horticultural expert is undeniable dating back 60 years when he first worked in his uncle’s nursery in England and continued to his present site in Ascot. Today’s Lambley Nursery and Gardens (named after his roots in England) are spectacular in every respect and are a must visit for gardeners travelling through the area. In fact, it is so good that it is worth travelling there just to see these gardens, the dry climate garden is something to behold in any season but if you can’t get there in person consider the DVDs that showcase this garden “Dry Climate Gardening” and you will be amazed at the range of plants that can be grown successfully in a dry climate, and not just succulents and aloes either!
WHAT IS MISSING?
Fashion applies in every area of our lives and these days it seems that carbohydrate is shunned, albeit in error. Carbohydrate is still an essential part of our lives and there is no better carbohydrate to grow in your own garden than potatoes. Unfortunately these weren’t mentioned in this DVD, probably because David doesn’t grow them but most home gardeners still love to grow the spud at home. Many chemicals are used on commercial vegetables before, during and after cultivation to enhance storage and appearance. If you wish to avoid this and taste the sensation of new potatoes then growing your own is a must so I found it a disappointment not to see potatoes on this DVD. A popular fast food burger chain recently released a youtube video showcasing how they used real potatoes for their french fries. It all looks good until the end when they tell you what they spray on their chips because they “all have to look the same!”. Check out their video here if you are interested.
What else? Many things are covered including soil preparation and improvement, sowing, planting, weeding, management and harvesting but watering other than of newly planted seeds and an occasional comment about maintaining moisture for germination, seems to be ignored. Now that maybe because the difficulties of irrigation are so second nature to a commercial gardener (referring to David’s flower growing) that the difficulties experienced by home gardeners are often overlooked. How much, how often, critical times to increase water and when to reduce water are all important to a successful garden and time using a trial and error approach will get you there but it would have been nice to have this issue addressed in a little more detail.
WHERE TO BUY?
The best place to get your copy of this production is from the man himself David Glenn as Lambley Nursery and Gardens website. Just click on the get your copy link it will take you there.
Highly recommended for any serious home vegetable grower or anyone keeping a restaurant kitchen garden.