Life in a Cottage Garden – Book review

For me, Carol Klein epitomises gardening. Her passion and sheer enthusiasm for all things green and organic is instantly infectious.

In ‘Life in a Cottage Garden’ we’re invited to have a sneaky peek over the boundary hedge of Glebe Cottage, her home and garden in the beautiful North Devon countryside.

The book takes the format of a gardener’s diary, with Carol sharing a personal and intimate insight into her day-to-day activities in her garden with her husband Neil, daughters Annie and Alice, pet dogs Fleur and Fifi and cat Sylvie. As each month unfolds we’re treated to fascinating insights into what needs to be undertaken in the different areas within her garden, including the Brick Garden, the Hot Beds and the Woodland Garden. Alongside this are details of the year round hive of propagation activity in the potting shed.

What is particularly striking is the sheer volume of activities that Carol takes upon herself. I was left feeling somewhat inadequate at times and I’m almost 15 years her junior!

A strong theme in this book is propagation, which is only to be expected of a leading plantswoman. Anything and everything that can be propagated, is. Whilst details of the how and when for some elements of propagation are shown in the book, readers will benefit from getting hold of a copy of Carol’s ‘Grow Your Own Garden’ book (see my Shoot review).

In summary, a great read, which is both entertaining, informative and fascinating. But the book is more than this; Carol’s descriptions of fauna and flora, prevailing weather conditions and the surrounding North Devonshire countryside are a joy to read. With stunning photography by Jonathan Buckley, this book is a must for all gardeners.


Author: Mike the Gardener

Freelance gardening writer, consultant and designer. Mike Palmer is a passionate and professional plantsman, offering services in garden writing, consultancy and garden design. Mike is also available for garden and plant related talks and presentations. Mike has been a professional horticulturalist for over fifteen years.

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