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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, honest and gives hope...
I was very sorry to hear of Monty Don's recent stroke and it was reading a newspaper article which gave some brief history of his life that led me to buy this book.

This book is essentially divided into two parts or themes. One is the story of how Monty and Sarah Don met and built a life together, which included building up a successful business - and how that...
Published on 28 Jun. 2008 by Amazon Customer

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
life story interesting
Published 8 months ago by fran


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, honest and gives hope..., 28 Jun. 2008
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I was very sorry to hear of Monty Don's recent stroke and it was reading a newspaper article which gave some brief history of his life that led me to buy this book.

This book is essentially divided into two parts or themes. One is the story of how Monty and Sarah Don met and built a life together, which included building up a successful business - and how that business went wrong and it's impact on their lives, and the second theme is their love of gardening and the garden they built in their home.

The book will appeal to anyone who wants to know more about Monty Don as a person, and it will also appeal to those who have an interest in gardening. I would not describe it as an instructional gardening book, but more about a personal journey that encompasses the pleasures of gardening.

Having suffered from life events myself which have led to depression, I found reading about Monty's own personal experiences of depression and how he sought recovery, inspiring and hope fulfilling. No doubt much of his ability to fight though the difficult times was through the support and love of his wife Sarah, which becomes very apparent in the book. They do appear to be 'soulmates' if such exist, and I found the cover photo of the book very much a picture into their personalities and relationship. After reading the book, have closer look at the photo, and you will know what I mean.

Highly recommended to anyone who is a Monty Don fan.

(P.S. Monty, if you read this review, I wish you well and know you are a fighter, and I hope you will be back on our TV screens very soon.)
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous garden book containing some extra insights, 2 Jan. 2006
By 
Frances Free "Frances Free" (Somerset, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Jewel Garden (Hardcover)
This is not just a beautiful book about plants and and gardens, it is also, I felt, quite an intimate portrait of Monty and his wife and a fascinating revelation on depression. The book is written in such a way as to inspire understanding and empathy for anyone who might suffer from this type of depression. It is also full of the most wonderful colour photographs; I found it illuminating on many levels.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Jewel Garden by Monty & Sarah Don, 24 Feb. 2008
By 
This review is from: The Jewel Garden (Hardcover)
I belong to The National Women's Register and we had been asked to review a Biography of our choice for our next meeting so I chose this book. I am not in the least depressed and chose this book because of my love for gardening. I have been where these two have, 'in the depths of depression' and like animals, gardens cannot answer back but repay us with their beauty just like animals do. They have told their story so graphically and with sheer determination have won through. I loved every page of it as it was so like me when my business went downhill with the depression,as like them my craft was not an a necessity and money was sparce. An excellent read.Well done I have bought two more of their books.
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153 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but wonderful, 4 Sept. 2004
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This review is from: The Jewel Garden (Hardcover)
I was very disappointed when I collected this book this morning from the Post Office. I had hoped for large glossy photographs, plans and diagrams, extensive instructions on how to plant the flowers I knew the Dons grow. Instead this is a fairly small format book (a little larger than a paperback novel) and it is like a joint gardening autobiography with particular emphasis on their present garden. I am in fact delighted with it: there are actually loads of photographs, and although of course they aren't enormous they are beautiful, evocative and inspirational. The writing is down to earth but also very descriptive. After a bit of history to explain how they got to be there, the main part of the book is divided seasonally. They explain what are the main attractions in the garden at each time of the year and how they came to grow them, and what tasks they do at that time. This means that although it isn't primarily a "How To" book you do of course learn loads from it. It's beautifully produced and I'm very glad I did splash out and buy it as a hard-back because I know I'll want to keep it. I think it would make a super present for a garden-minded person.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a different view, 7 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Jewel Garden (Hardcover)
I am recently bereaved and at a very low ebb. When I first saw a review for Monty and Sarah's book I thought that I could read it and feel that there may be a way through, I already have an established garden that my spouse and I had hoped to spend our retirement pottering in. When I read what Monty and Sarah had been through I was once more filled with hope and inspiration. This is a beautifully produced book, but is not a book that will give you ideas or information on how to garden. What it will give you is a story of courage and true Brit spirit and a determination not to give in however bad it gets. A perfect gift for any depressed gardeners
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging and enchanting, 15 Jun. 2006
I came across this by chance and bought it on impulse and glad I did! All credit to the open and moving descriptions of depression together with an inspirational message.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lets Hear It For the Girl, 22 May 2012
By 
D. Hodson (Torbay, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm a big fan of Monty Don almost bordering on man love. Ideal dinner party guests Monty, Michael Palin and Mike Carlson,Dotun Adeybayo ,Malala Yousafzai, Mary Robinson and Doreen Lawrence.I've also been affected by Depression of a loved one so I was hoping to gain more from this element of the story.I'm a gardener by profession and enthusiasm and lets face it good garden writing in passages any longer than a Sunday magazine article is almost impossible.You can describe a great painting and it's history but it can never make up for just seeing it.So for me the first part of this story was by far the most captivating in fact I found it completely riveting.
The overwhelming impression I was left with was the respect for Sarah Don,her overwhelming love for her husband and the feeling that in this partnership she is overwhelmingly the greater force and unshakable foundation.The self absorbtion ,pity and selfishness that can be displayed by the clinically depressed is well to the fore,at one point Sarah remarks that the diary of life at a previous house totally omitted the fact that she was having a baby at the time.But what comes through is the total love and support that helps Monty get through the dark days.The second part of the book ,the garden diary, shows Sarah as Monty's absolute equal in garden knowledge,philosophy and skill.So thoroughly recommended and getting back to that Elysium dinner party ,clear a space, the girl's coming too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 24 Dec. 2008
By 
This review is from: The Jewel Garden (Hardcover)
Inspiring account of how a garden was created out of business failure and depression; Monty's hard work ethic - and the fact that he can drive himself even through seasonal bouts of depression - is awe-inspiring. But I did find myself wishing, for his sake, that he could stop occasionally, sit down and enjoy the beauty of what he has created. He describes the garden as a place of work, not a place to be ... and look at his tiny, wobbly garden chairs! they wouldn't encourage you to sit for very long!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiration on more than one level, 7 Sept. 2014
By 
T. Barber - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Jewel Garden (Hardcover)
I bought this book as a present for my husband who is a keen gardener after having read the previous reviews posted on the website. He loved it, as do I. We have in the past struggled to understand Monty Don. We liked his relaxed presenting style and could see that he knew his stuff, but I'm afraid sometimes the tone of his voice sent us both to sleep. Through this book, and the understanding of all his ongoing difficulties we feel we know him just a bit better. We now just concentrate on his actual gardening advice and not the voice. We are planning a whole garden based on the colours and plants in the jewel garden. We have a large plot, on a slope, with wonderful views but it needs big,bold colours and plants. This book has been an inspiration on more than one level. The chapter on depression also struck more than one cord with us both. They are both to be congratulated on their book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jewel Garden, 22 Jun. 2011
Excellent - I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. Monty and Sarah Don are both accomplished storytellers - you can almost smell the flowers!
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