A new edition, with new material, of this hugely popular romp through British gardening from the stone-age to today. Thoroughly engaging, immensely successful, beautifully packaged.
Did the Romans have rakes? Did the monks get muddy? Did the potato seem really, really weird when it arrived on our shores?
This lively 'potted' history of gardening in Britain takes us on a garden tour from the thorn hedges around prehistoric settlements to the rage for ornamental grasses and 'outdoor rooms' today. It tracks down the ordinary folk who worked the earth - the apprentice boys and weeding women, the florists and nursery gardeners - as well as aristocrats and grand designers and famous plant-hunters.
Coloured by Jenny Uglow's own love for plants, and brought to life in the many vivid illustrations, it deals not only with flowery meads, grottoes and vistas, landscapes and ha-has, parks and allotments, but tells you, for example, how the Tudors made their curious knots; how housewives used herbs to stop freckles; how the suburbs dug for victory in World War II.
With a brief guide to particular historic or evocative gardens open to the public, this is a book to put in your pocket when planning a summer day out - but also to read in your deckchair with a glass of cold wine, when dead-heading is simply too much.
“The book charts gardening right up to the present day, looking at the spike in demand for allotments and the current boom in naturalistic gardening. This isn’t a dry historical reference book, it’s filled with interesting anecdotes and asides that bring all the eras to life”
Rachael Funnell, English Garden
“Uglow's account of a national obsession is a delight from beginning to end”
“This book will be a joy for any gardener”
“The biographer of Gaskell and Hogarth now takes us into the garden, where plants glow and miniature landscapes unfold at the touch of her easy prose”
“Enchanting, stirringly evocative and fascinating”
“Elegant history...It is beautifully written and lets you see your own humble plot in its historical and geographical context”
“Uglow is being modest: her long and leisurely stroll through 2.000 years of British gardening is dense with the foliage of historical research, and highly decorated with literary references and colourful anecdotes”
Independent on Sunday
“Enthralling...an elegant and witty gem”