Friday, 31 January 2014

My Secret Garden by Alan Titchmarsh: Book Review

Welcome, all Modern Country gardeners.
Warning: Your book collection is about to feel very incomplete.

Alan Titchmarsh's My Secret Garden(by Ebury Publishing) is quite simply the most inspiring gardening book I've ever read. Hold onto to your boots, you're in for a ride!

Alan Titchmarsh's garden is Modern Country Garden perfection, by which I mean a blend of soft planting and topiary. This combination makes a garden design appear timeless, elegant and classic. It has the formal structure with more than a nod to the current Modern trend of formal design to carry it through these dull winter months but is juxtaposed by gentle Country pleasures of Cottage Garden delights.

Here's an excerpt from the wonderfully personal introduction...

To be honest, mine is not so much a secret garden as a private one, and that’s a bit of a novelty really. Having used our last garden at Barleywood for filming and photography for 20-odd years, I promised my wife and family when we moved, back in 2002, that the next garden would be just for us.

I struck a deal with Mrs T. The deal was that Jonathan Buckley – a brilliant photographer who has, over the years, become a good friend – would record our progress and I would share my garden in the form of a book. That way the garden would still be private and I would have the pleasure of progressing at my own pace, rather than fitting in with the hectic schedule of filming.

This book is the result. It encapsulates my own passion for gardening and my love of line, form, scale, perspective and colour. It will give you an idea of my tastes and predilections, my whims and fancies, as well as being a soapbox for me to expound a modest amount of my personal garden philosophy.

My Secret Gardenis divided, by season, into four delicious sections.
We get to look around, at lazy length, Alan Titchmarsh's spectacularly beautiful four acre garden. This is clearly not a garden built for television but an intimate, private joy. It's impeccably designed, yes, but for Alan's own particular pleasures, rather than to placate a nation of avid Gardeners' World viewers.

My Secret Garden gives us plenty of personal information about the design, inspiration and building of the garden, as well as faascinating glimpse into his mind by his sharing the frustrations and ongoing transformations behind the scenes, plus it features details on Alan Titchmarsh's favourite flower choices...

It shows progression; trial and error on the way, revealing his attitude on the making of a garden as a journey, an exploration, rather than one final static product.

From early spring...

through to summer...


and then deepest winter...

...along with collections of images comparing shots of the same part of the garden at different times of year...

My Secret Gardenby Alan Titchmarsh is a Modern Country Garden must-have. 

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At Rivercrest Cottage said...

the views of this inspiring garden are just what we need to perk us up in these seemingly endless days of Winter. thanks for featuring this book.

Deborah said...

Hello gorgeous!!!
How are you sweet Sarah?!!!
What a beautiful book!
I never tire of seeing beautiful gardens!
Cant wait for summer...already! Lol
Hope you are doing well sweet friend...I have missed you!
Hugs xo

All my heart,
Deborah xoxoxoxo

Louise said...

I LOVE Titchmarsh. Here in non-BBC land we have underground movements to get ahold of your garden shows, quite subversive =) I think he is one of the few that can go from pretty pictures to actually make you feel you can do it yourself, and even get you out of the couch and do it. His website on how to be a gardener is so cute.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

You're so right about his pictures making you feel you can get up and do it - I think that's why this is one of my's not just drool-worthy but incredibly motivating too. Double whammy!


Ann-Marie ~ Brambly said...

Breathtaking-definetly craving spring now! However- if we don't get some serious rain soon in California- I will have to embrace the beauty of weeds of summer.

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