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Bradley, Val (Valerie Bradley)

Bradley, Val (Valerie Bradley)

PERSONAL:

Married Steve Bradley (a horticulturist, writer, and broadcaster). Education: Attended Bryan College, York, England.

ADDRESSES:

Home—England.

CAREER:

Horticulturist and writer. Has worked as a horticulture teacher, for the Liverpool Parks Department, for a garden center, and also for a nursery. Has also designed plant and flower displays.

WRITINGS:

(With Jenny Raworth) The New Indoor Gardener, Collins & Brown (London, England), 1998.

(With Susan Berry) Container Gardening on Balconies and Terraces, Collins & Brown (London, England), 2001.

(With John Negus) Garden Tools, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 2001.

(With Steve Bradley) Fragrant Gardening, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 2002.

(As Valerie Bradley) The Complete Guide to Houseplants: The Easy Way to Choose and Grow Healthy, Happy Houseplants, Reader's Digest (Pleasantville, NY), 2006.

Gardening correspondent for the London Sun.

SIDELIGHTS:

Val Bradley, who occasionally writes as Valerie Bradley, is an English horticulturist and writer who often collaborates with her husband, Steve Bradley (who is also a horticulturist and a writer). As a student, Bradley specialized in horticulture at Bryan College, York, and has since worked in her field of expertise. As a horticulturist, Bradley has worked as a horticulture teacher, for the Liverpool Parks Department, for a garden center, and at a nursery. She has also designed plant and flower displays and regularly attends the Chelsea Flower Show (one of the largest flower exhibitions in the world) to present new plants. With her husband, Bradley is also the gardening correspondent for the London Sun. Throughout her career, Bradley has drawn on her extensive background in horticulture to write several gardening books. Her first book was written with Jenny Raworth. Titled The New Indoor Gardener, the volume was published in 1998. This book was followed three years later by Container Gardening on Balconies and Terraces, which Bradley wrote with Susan Berry. That same year, Bradley also released the book Garden Tools, a collaboration with John Negus.

Following the publication of her 2002 book, Fragrant Gardening (her first title to be published in the United States and the first to be written with her husband), Bradley took a four-year hiatus from publishing. In 2006, however, Bradley released The Complete Guide to Houseplants: The Easy Way to Choose and Grow Healthy, Happy Houseplants under her full name. The book was written for an American audience and gives a room-by-room discussion of the types of plants that do best in houses, even going so far as to discuss which plants thrive on the humidity in bathrooms and which do best in dark or windowless hallways. The volume includes a wide-ranging discussion of climate control, soil types, potting techniques, basic care, and types of light. Furthermore, The Complete Guide to Houseplants features discussion regarding the aesthetic arrangement of multiple potted plants and contains several hundred full-color photographs as well. Other topics discussed include several methods for propagation, or duplicating an existing plant. Reviewers found Bradley's The Complete Guide to Houseplants to be a comprehensive, well-written, and easy-to-use manual. Indeed, Carol Haggas, writing in Booklist, stated that "in all, this is an indispensable guide for every level of expertise." Additionally, a California Bookwatch contributor felt that the book "packs in details on all kinds" of flora and fauna.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 2006, Carol Haggas, review of The Complete Guide to Houseplants: The Easy Way to Choose and Grow Healthy, Happy Houseplants, p. 12.

California Bookwatch, July 1, 2006, review of The Complete Guide to Houseplants.

ONLINE

Gardens Monthly Web site,http://www.gardening.co.uk/ (August 18, 2008), author profile.

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