Eats and treats

The Urban Gardener

There are times when I feel I would love a bigger, rural garden. And indeed I would, I would love that bit more space to grow all the plants that I covet. 

But then common sense prevails and I know that with a busy life style I could not give it the attention it needs. So, on the whole I am content to be an urban gardener with my lovely neighbours next door and a bus passing the front of the house.

But urban gardens too can be something of a challenge – overlooked, a lack of privacy, pollution, shade from neighbouring houses, or so tiny that a pocket handkerchief would make it look crowded!

However, help is at hand thanks to Matt James’s inspirational book The Urban Gardener with equally inspirational photographs by Marianne Majerus.

There truly is a garden for everybody – a garden to suit all needs and tastes.

Included in the book are various actual case studies like Tom Stuart-Smiths calm, jungle courtyard; Charlotte Rowe’s formal front garden; Sara-Jane Rothwell’s rooftop garden and Stuart Craine’s family garden.

Matt James also takes the reader through the stages of designing and making a garden: lawn alternatives; raised beds – even on concrete; plantings for different places and conditions – under mature trees, in containers.

It even discusses creating a mini wild-flower meadow and how to move plants to new locations.

There are lots of useful tips and planting suggestions. It is a fab book and one that makes us long for spring and the opportunity to get out and start creating and gardening.

The Urban Gardener. Matt James. Published by Mitchell Beazley, Octopus Publishing Grou; Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 978-1-84533-796-4. £20.
www.octopusbooks.co.uk;www.rhs.org.ukAvailable on Amazon.

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