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This is such a great read, whether you've been to Beth Chatto's wonderful garden and are already a big fan, or even if you've never heard of her before today.

Beth Chatto started a nursery and garden with her husband in 1960, on land in Essex he used to farm for fruit. It has become one of the most famous spots in England due to her wonderful books, which preach a message of planting according to the situation you have, not according to what you wish was there. This forethinking message might seem familiar to us today, but in her own time it was revolutionary and influential - if you have a damp garden, or a dry garden (she had bits of both) accept it and work with what you have instead of against it.

This is not to say that her style of gardening is somehow lacking the colour and texture of more extrovert planters. She is an expert plantswoman and walking round her garden you stop every ten metres to take a photo or wonder at a plant.

This book is a whole year's worth of diary, detailing her love for her grandchildren, her delight in her potting compost mixer, and her interesting visitors, ranging from the Japanese work experience boy to nosy parkers who don't believe she actually is Beth Chatto. And that's before you get started on any of the writing about plants, which is just delightful.

I mostly read this book on the tube and it was completely involving, I often totally forgot where I was, I was so lost in Essex and her brilliantly-put insights and thoughts on gardening. 100% enjoyable, and a great gift for any gardener.
11 comment|32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 January 2012
This book gives a very interesting insight into the life of an incredibly busy and successful woman who not only created one of the best gardens in England but also a very successful nursery.
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on 9 February 2013
Beth Chatto,s considerable experience shows in this book and is valuable for anyone keen on gardening. Beautifully written it is easy to understand..
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 February 2013
This book was purchased for my mother in law. She is a very keen gardener, and shes really enjoying it.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 May 2016
I'm so glad I purchased this gem of a book! I have to say this is not just one of the best books I've read so far this year but possibly one of the best I've ever read! I help my friend (who is a self-employed gardener) with potting his bedding plants during the Spring for his car boot sales in May and June and so have just recently begun to show an interest in gardening and plants. I bought this book on an impulse and I'm so glad I did, I just couldn't put it down. I loved reading about a year in the life of Beth working at her garden and nursery near Colchester. It's also filled with some beautiful drawings which just adds to the enjoyment of it. Thank you Beth very much I highly enjoyed this and didn't want it to end!
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on 29 November 2013
I was introduced to this book after a friend went for a course by Beth Chatto. It is truly memorable and full of detailed information - excellent
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on 11 May 2015
Beautiful and fascinating read, particularly in the depths of Winter to get those green fingers glowing!
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on 10 January 2016
Excellent book as expected and delivered in time.
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on 31 October 2015
Still reading it but very enjoyable so far.
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on 14 December 2014
Arrived in good condition as usual. Purchased as gift
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