Typical questions• What are the dimensions of a standard crown bowling green?• Have you got the rules for pool?
Where to look
Encyclopedias may provide an overview of some sports rules. If you need more detail, try some of the following:
Rules of the game (1990) rev. edn, St Martins Press
This ‘essential’ has the rules for over 150 sports. The coverage can be fairly limited, but it is certainly a good starting point.
For more in-depth coverage, try:
Pocock, T. (2003) Official rules of sports and games, 19th edn, Hamlyn
This thousand-page work goes from Archery to Water Polo.
See also some of the official sports yearbooks, e.g. Lawn Tennis Association, Amateur Athletic Association.
For card and board games, The new complete Hoyle (1991) Doubleday, is a good bet. This is the definitive source for the rules of all card and other indoor games.
There is a great website covering card game rules at www.pagat.com.
Tips and pitfalls
The associations governing bodies of different sports all have websites nowadays.
These sites can sometimes be useful for finding out rules.
GARDENS, GARDENING & FLOWERS
See also Natural History
Typical questions• When are the gardens at Parham open?• What's the best way to make compost?• What is this flower?• Where can I buy unusual plants?
People often ask for details of famous or interesting gardens, about which there are several directories, or for help to identify plants or flowers. Don't forget the library's lending stock.
Where to look
Bagust, H. (1998) The gardener's dictionary of horticultural terms, Brockhampton
Hamilton, G. (1993) The Gardener's World directory, 2nd edn, BBC Books A compendium of gardening information.
Goode, P. and Lancaster, M. (eds) (2001) The Oxford companion to gardens, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press
Huxley. A. J. (ed.) (1991) New Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening, Macmillan
The four-volume ‘bible’.
Ettlinger. S. (1990) The complete illustrated guide to everything sold in garden centres (except the plants), Macmillan
Mulches, nematodes, etc., etc.
Discussion-based, but good for gardening advice, plant directory, and answers to questions.
Gardens to visit, finding a gardener, tips, reports and general advice.
Owen, J. and Gavin, D. (2004) Gardening through time, BBC Books
An illustrated guide to 200 years of garden design giving timelines and background.