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The Vine Garden. A Search For Home in the Gardens and Vineyards of France [Paperback]

Alex Dingwall-Main
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 Aug 2005

What happens when you relocate to the perfect house, in the perfect village in Provence, and nearly ten years later the shine has gone? Garden designer Alex Dingwall-Main is facing lavender fatigue, strife at home, neighbourly warfare and non-paying business clients. He is on the verge of packing his bags and starting all over again, back in England.

Until one Spring day he is offered an opportunity by a wealthy and very grateful client; a treasure hunt for 12 bottles of exquisite French wine. It would be a journey through the country's finest vineyards, chateaux and villages. With a hangover and an uncertain heart, Alex decides to give it one more try and sets off in search of the France he fell in love with so many years ago. The people, the gardens and the wine that he encounters make for an adventurous and beautiful summer, and life-changing decisions are reached...

Frequently Bought Together

The Vine Garden. A Search For Home in the Gardens and Vineyards of France + The Angel Tree + The Luberon Garden: A provencal story of Apricot Blossom, Truffles and Thyme
Price For All Three: 23.45

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; 1st edition (4 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091897580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091897581
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alex Dingwall-Main has been designing gardens and writing books for thirty-something years both in the UK and Provence in the South of France.

His work was first noticed when he was in his early twenties by The Times who ran an article featuring his modernist approach to landscape design. He later signed to The Sunday Times as their resident garden design writer.

Since then Alex has exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show several times both on his own and with House & Garden magazine. He has judged at the RHS Hampton Palace Flower Show, taught at the Inchbald School of Garden Design, made a twenty-six part TV series for the BBC and recorded various radio programs for Radio 4, LBC, Radio Monte Carlo and France Bleu.

He has designed gardens in America and Amman, the West Indies and West Sussex, He's gone from Portugal and Spain to France and Germany and of course Great Britain.

His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Homes and Gardens, Harper's, Vogue and Gardens Illustrated as well as most of the national daily newspapers.

He has written a trilogy of books under the banner 'Garden Travelogues' published by Ebury Press at Random House and serialised in The Times, including the Sunday Times top ten best seller 'The Luberon Garden'.

He has a 17 year-old son, a nine year-old collie and lives in West Sussex.

Product Description


"Well worth knocking back this summer" (A Place in the Sun's everything France Magazine)

Book Description

A sequel to the bestselling book The Luberon Garden. What happens when the Provencal dream becomes jaded? Bestselling author and garden designer Alex Dingwall-Main takes a journey to the heart of France, to the wine-producing chateaux and their gardens, and falls in love with the country once again

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little on the dry side 5 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well I read Alex's other books (The Angel Tree, Luberon Garden etc) a bit out of order; but found them more or less interesting; certainly with the Luberon Garden you get to feel some involvement. Similarly with the Angel Tree - you also feel involvement and interest in the story line.

Unfortunately this seems to have flagged somewhat for this book. Clearly Alex had been through a tough time; and it partially felt like a book for himself rather than for others to read. Somehow the writing is more the therapy. Some nice descriptions of the wine regions; and his travels around. And then some parts / chapters were disjointed. This should not be too surprising- 3 months without a visit to a Vineyard and working hard will do this.

So in the end is it an interesting book - perhaps. It had a strong feel of 'woe is me' but then most of humanity goes through this at some point. Would I read it again? No (I would with Angel Tree). Would I recommend it to others? Perhaps if they are a real amateur wine buff with a strong gardening hint... but it wont be recommended for my parents who are also in this catagory.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Wine Connoiseurs Only? 13 April 2008
By Serena - Published on
Take my review with a grain of salt because I know very little about gardening and less about wine.

Mr. Dingwall-Main designed gardens for estates in England. Apparently, he found designing English gardens suffocating and decided to transplant his career and family to the Provence area of France. I believe his first book, THE LUBERON GARDENS, tells the story of that move.

This book begins about seven years later when his life, gardening, and marriage are getting stale and/or complicated. A close friend and neighbor encourages Mr. Dingwall-Main to explore the vinyards and the hopefully, accompanying gardens throughout France and a couple in South Africa. It is suggested that he acquire sample bottles of wine on his trips for he and his friend to sample together later. This book is about those travels.

Mr. Dingwall-Main's writing style is a little stiff and self-centered, with just enough feeling and humor coming through to hold my interest. There's a little too much wine and not enough gardens to suit me, but wine lovers would disagree. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if there had been a little more written about his dissolving marriage and the problems he was obviously having in getting his new bachelor pad ready for habitation. I felt no more for this man than I would feel for a robot. Perhaps, if I had read his earlier book I would have felt more sympathy for him. I would recommend that anyone interested in this book read the other one first.
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