Monday, 2 May 2011

Make way for "The Bad Tempered Gardener" ...


The Reflecting Pool at the Veddw - also a chapter in the book
It was just a year ago that I first visited the Veddw in Wales. It was only last week that I read Anne Wareham’s book about creating the garden there  - “The Bad Tempered Gardener” published by Frances Lincoln. Looking back over my review, I’m extremely glad that I didn’t use words like “lovely” when I wrote about Anne’s garden. I sensibly referred to it as “remarkable”, which means I can now keep my head above the parapet after reading her book and comments on garden reviewers! 

This book is not just the story of creating a garden, but is also an interesting and eclectic mix of practical gardening information; comment about the world of gardening here in the UK and the characters who stand out both on screen and in print; and an insight into the woman who has allowed herself to be dubbed “The Bad Tempered Gardener”.
Anne Wareham in her garden
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our gardens; but in this book Anne expresses the emotions many of us feel! “I hate gardening” is the title of one chapter, and haven’t we all felt that way at the end of a long day’s digging, when we are unlikely to see the results for several months, but all too aware we'll be unable to move the following morning! And she really gets my vote with comments like: “Gardening is talked up housework that you have to do outside.”

Presented as a series of vignettes about plants, people and places, you can dip into this book as and when you want to; see the way the Veddw developed and enjoy the odd quip at other people’s expense. Wareham doesn’t mince her words and has strong views on many of the gardening institutions we tolerate here in the UK including the NGS and the National Trust.
View of the garden overlooking Anne Wareham and Charles Hawes' home in Monmouthshire
Overall, it’s a good read and a book you can pick up and put down when you want to. My only criticism is it's a pity the pictures aren't larger. Anne’s husband Charles is the photographer and given his skill, it’s a shame there aren’t more. But we can't blame author or photographer for that!

"The Bad Tempered Gardener" is available this week from all good bookshops. You can also order direct from Amazon.

6 comments:

  1. Looking at all those hedges that would need trimming I can see why she'd get crabby. It sounds like a great read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great pictures as always. What a lovely place to visit. Wonderful pictures and I really enjoyed this blog... Thank you for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
  3. haha - outside housework! Sounds like such a fun read!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very beautiful area, i bet it is very difficult to maintain. I like also the small houses being climbed by plants too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd rather be doing outside housework than the indoor variety!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's all very lush! I'm frightened by the amount of trimming involved though. -- Bom

    ReplyDelete