Life in a Cottage Garden by Carol Klein

Life in a Cottage Garden by Carol Klein was published in 2011 and I borrowed this one from the library as I enjoy seeing Carol Klein’s garden when we sometimes get a glimpse of it on TV’s Gardeners’ World. Of course cottage gardens are my favourite gardens, I think, although the only kind of garden which I don’t really admire are those ‘exotic tropical’ ones that some people in the UK cultivate, which end up being wrapped up in fleece half the year. Everything in its right place I say.

Anyway, back to the book. As with a lot of gardening books this one is a monthly look with Carol writing about what is going on in her garden each month. She looks back to the time when she and her husband Neil first moved to Glebe Cottage in Devon, over 30 years ago, when the land was more or less just a rough field. I was hoping that this book would be one of those ones which you can ‘look inside’ on Amazon but no luck, though you can see some images of Carol Klein’s garden here.

Thirty and more years of gardening have transformed the land into a paradise, the photographs are really gardening porn and the book has me longing for the warmer weather when everything will start growing (I hope). Handily, there’s a good plan of the garden, or should I say gardens as it is sectioned off into lots of different gardens. There is no grass to be seen at all, except ornamental grasses and I’m planning to follow her and get rid of almost all of my grass, over some years, giving much more space for planting.

It seems that if you have a TV garden you have to have animals too and cats and dogs feature in this book. My garden is a pet free zone, well it should be but there are a few local cats who are trying to put that right! But I do enjoy looking at her pets. Not as much as I love looking at her gypsy caravan though, it was a 65th birthday present from Carol’s husband, and who wouldn’t want one of those?!

At the beginning of each separate month the first page is in larger print and for some reason it has an archaic type, which I’m assuming was an artistic decision but I hate it, I’ve only seen it in really old books before. It’s that type which has the s and t joined together at the top, also s-p and c-t. There must be a name for it but I don’t know what it is. Anyway, I find it not at all artistic, just very annoying, but that’s my only gripe about Life in a Cottage Garden.

So I’m off to buy some seed trays, I have the seeds which I saved from my old garden and compost, but the trays are some of the many things I left behind in my old greenhouse and there are a few more plants which after reading this book I’ve decided that I have to have in my garden too.