Collection of very brief essays on gardening topics, from what was once a newspaper column (seems to be a common source for many gardening books). This one was of particular interest because the author made a point of combing through many many scientific journals to pull out results of studies and reports that he thought common gardeners would like to know about: answering questions, laying to rest long-held myths, or just satisfying some curiosity. Things like- do shards in the bottom of a pot improve drainage (no), does it matter what color you paint a birdhouse (maybe), is compost tea worth making, what vegetables are most worthwhile to grow in your garden, what makes strawberries taste better, which insects are in decline (as of its publication), etc. Some bits were of less interest to me than others, but the sections I actually skimmed were very few. I’m always rather pleased when at the end of reading a nonfiction book, the top page block is crowded with strips of paper I stuck in to remind me to look things up. On finishing The Sceptical Gardener, I looked up more info on: harlequin ladybird beetle, New Zealand flatworm, calabrese, saskatoon, sowbread, flower sprouts (or kalette- I want to grow this!) Some of these are just because the author is British so the terms were unfamiliar. He says for example, that a certain berry is “widely grown and eaten in America, where it is called saskatoon.” I’d never heard of this berry. Looked it up: oh, serviceberry! I know that name. Also, one interesting note for cooking: to make a tomato sauce taste super fresh, add some tomato leaves to the sauce, pull them out before serving.