garden based thrifts

Last weekend, I discovered that there was an Oxfam bookshop right around the corner from the market we buy our veg from every Saturday – how I’ve never been in there until now, I’ll never know. Talk about a thrifty fail.

The inside was ah-ma-zing. Packed full of books that covered every subject, from modern fiction to vintage annuals and everything in between, there was something for everyone. Seriously, I challenge you not to fall in love with an Oxfam bookshop; rows and rows of old books jostling happily against new ones, leather covers, hardback covers, tatty paper covers – they were all there, and ripe for the picking. I ended up with a pile of about six different books, and then remembered that we’re supposed to be practising frugality. Cue much sighing, and huffing and puffing while I decided on my favourite two. And a tote bag. Ahem.

You’ll have noticed that a lot of my posts lately have been garden-related, and I’ve been reading and re-reading Alys Fowler’s books lately – so well written, even a simpleton like me can understand what she’s talking about – but I really wanted something a little bit chunkier for extra reference. So when I found the mahoosive RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening for a mere £3.99, there was no question that it was coming home with me. It has everything from instructions to problem solvers and handy hints, and a whole load of lovely photographs.

My second find was a book I’ve been waiting years to buy, and I’m so pleased that I managed to find a bargain copy in a charity shop, rather than giving in and paying a small fortune on Amazon. The beautiful Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady was bargain £2.49, and worth every penny. There are sooooo many beautiful illustrations by the author, from birds to flowers, flora to fauna, all handpainted with watercolour (I think) – I’ve already got grand plans to scan them into the computer and print them off to use in arty and crafty projects. Seriously, check this lot out!

After a long break from thrifting, I’m hooking up with all the other wonderful magpies over on Magpie Monday with the aceballs Missie Lizzie. Show us yer thrifts, you lovely lot!


  1. Lucy @CapturebyLucy
    February 4, 2013 / 5:55 pm

    Oh I saw that Edith Holden book the other day wish I had bought it!

  2. Helen - sittinginthekitchensink
    February 4, 2013 / 6:28 pm

    Those illustrations are just beautiful! I need to get cracking in our garden – there's so much to do if I'm going to get anything planted this year! Our local Oxfam bookshop is fab – I haven't been in for a few months…so maybe I'll head there tomorrow when I pass it!P.S hope your foot has recovered after the paving slab fall – saw your tweets!

  3. Mama Syder
    February 4, 2013 / 6:56 pm

    Great books. I have the Edwardian Lady too, gorgeous book x

  4. Alice
    February 4, 2013 / 8:25 pm

    I was so close the buying the Edwardian Lady book the other day – really wish I had! xxx

  5. Lulastic
    February 4, 2013 / 9:56 pm

    Those floral illustrations are just incredible! Just gorgeous. I am SO with you on the Oxfam Bookshop, could browse all day. Imagine one that served tea and cake as well… oohh!

  6. An Exeter Mum
    February 5, 2013 / 11:51 pm

    I have both these books and they are fab. I am also gearing up for a lot of garden renovation and raised bed building this year (recently moved home). You have e minded me of the encyclopaedia to dig out!

  7. my little red suitcase
    February 6, 2013 / 3:37 pm

    I think I have this book somewhere I must dig it out, pretty pictures! Heather x

  8. Liz Burton
    February 6, 2013 / 8:22 pm

    Apologies for my tardiness this week!The Diary of an Edwardian Lady is an absolute classic isn't it? I remember spending hours pouring over my mum's copy. The spare room had duvet covers with it's design on too!

  9. Anonymous
    February 18, 2013 / 8:36 pm

    I love your blog – I am interested in gardening on a budget too – made my very good compost bins out of palettes, and a great wood store out of a wooden bed base, bed posts and heavy duty trellis I found on the pavement – made a roof and tiled it with tiles that someone was throwing out – it's fun recycling / upcycling in the garden!I love the Edwardian Country Lady book too – my mother had it and I remember gazing at it's beautiful pictures for hours as a child – then I was given it by a house guest last year ;-)Emma.

  10. Zoe Twohoots
    April 13, 2013 / 11:00 pm

    Oh my, I love the Edwardian lady book, I read it when I was little. I am myself from Solihull (see the February picture) and it was great reading a book which mentioned places that I had grown up in. Amazing!

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