Spoken Word

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The Independent Culture
In Your Garden Again

read by Janet McTeer

Cover to Cover, 2hrs 20mins, pounds 8.99

WITH SUNSHINE warming the labouring back, and bulbs cheerfully pushing their way up through the earth, now is the time for both horticultural planning and action. Vita Sackville-West's garden columns for the Observer in the 1930s remain among the most delightful garden writings, personal but practical, and full of fascinating details of the planning and development of the sensational garden at Sissinghurst Castle which she and Harold Nicolson created together. Cover to Cover have now published four two-cassette sets of the columns, two for January to June and two for July to December. For those who can't spell by ear, they also publish an attractive reprint of the book (pounds 14.99). Mail order: 01672 56255

Garden of Words

various readers

Help the Aged, 2hrs, pounds 9.99

I OFTEN find poetry read aloud soporific, but this unique and unusual anthology of poetry and prose "of gardens, gardeners and things that grow" would be ideal listening when you are actually out there with your spade and seed-drill. The two cassettes contain over 100 readings, ranging from predictable delights by Herrick, Rossetti, Frost and Hopkins to unexpected treasures - Spike Milligan on dandelions, Norman Nicholson on weeds, William Carlos Williams on tulips. Read by a glittering cast of celebrities who have given their services for nothing, this is a tape to visit and revisit. Finally, enthusiasts of the BBC's Lost Gardens of Heligan might like to know that a spoken word version of the series is about to be released.