Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Best Christmas Present

People who know me well never make mistake by giving me a book as present. I love all the books but, if it's related to horticulture there is no end to my joy. So, I got this book from my mum; a gardening book, of course, the one I wanted so much. It is called "The Green Square" and is written by our (Croatian) popular TV gardener Kornelija Beyovsky Šoštarić.

Kornelija makes TV presentations about organic gardening and also writes about gardening in a few magazines. What I love about her as well as about this book is the fact she can be trusted when she speaks about gardening this and that. 'Cause, she speaks from her own experience and heart. Though academically educated on Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb, field horticulture and landscaping, she believes that nothing is really learnt until you learn it from one's own  experience. As she said: " How can tell people to do something if I didn't do it myself before?" One day out filming the new TV report in a small village Lepa ves (literally meaning Pretty Village!), she spotted an old deserted traditional house with neglected garden and instantly found the way to buy it! Since then, she films her reports in her own garden. She travels every weekend from Zagreb to the village where her garden is. In the book, she describes how her garden grew from the scratch to today by giving a plenty of advices about every step she took.

She was not happy to clear the ground by using heavy machinery but it was not really the other way; she tried it to clear it by hand! The machinery destroyed and compacted the valuable soil but she managed to recover it slowly by adding plenty of organic matter to it.

She believes in natural looking, organic gardens, where flowers, fruits and vegetables grow happily together. This is what English call a cottage garden. There is no room for herbicides or pesticides or mineral fertilizers. She also was driven by the notion to do something for her family - to eat organic vegetables and fruits, to exercise by digging and planting the garden and breathe the fresh country air. Her daughter is already infected by "green virus".

All the beautiful photographs in the book are taken by her husband Nino Šoštarić, a professional camera man. And, the clothing made of natural materials, all these lovely cotton blouses, trousers, skirts and aprons she wears, are designed especially for Kornelija by fashion designer Nataša Jeletić.

Kornelija is certainly my soul-mate because, like me, she wanted to study painting but her parents, like mine, wanted her to study something more "reliable". But, the painting talent can be very well applied to create the gardens and this tranquil atmosphere in the garden she created. I am sure, her book will be placed at hand and read many times all over again.

Croatian reader may order the book here: Profile International Bookstore . The book is still on discount (219 kn), free delivery right to your doors in just two days, in Croatia, of course. To my opinion, the price is well worthed.


  1. It look like a great book. It's a very nice gift.

  2. Prekrasna knjiga i ja je imam, dobila sma je za poklon od supruga. Vjerujem da ćeš u njoj naći pun o dobrih savjeta.
    Od srca ti želim sve najbolje za blagdane!
    Pusa, Zondra Art

    P.S.Hvala što imaš moj button na blogu.

  3. Super poklon!
    Ja sam si je sama kupila čim je izašla, i sad sam dobila još jednu na poklon...
    Prvo sam mislila da će to biti samo jedna od knjiga s puno slika i malo korisnih informacija, ali stvarno je vrijedi imati.

  4. What a great book review -- it looks like a worthwhile read! I don't think I've heard of this gardening author/tv personality before.

    I wanted to suggest that you submit your amsonia post for the next issue of How to Find Great Plants. The deadline is December 31st. If you're interested, here's the link:

  5. I joined the carnival. Eliza, tanks for invitation!


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