TWO beautifully illustrated new books from local publisher Otterley Press have arrived from the printers, just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping. Both have a local flavour, and should appeal strongly to gardeners and garden-admirers alike. The second book, The Essential Garden Notebook, is by Phyl Palframan, who many readers will remember as a Witness columnist, and whose garden at Watermead, near Underberg, features in KwaZulu-Natal is my Garden. The Esssential Garden Notebook is a discursive and lively little book, giving hints for gardeners to follow month by month, design tips and space for the reader’s own notes. Palframan describes the text, which is on the page on the right, as being like a gardener’s blog.