Book review: Gardening at Longmeadow by Monty Don

This 349 page beast contains an entire year of gardening by the  star of Gardener’s World, Monty Don, showcasing the real star of the show, the now famous Longmeadow.

Each chapter discusses a month at Longmeadow with lots of large, full colour glossy photos accompanied by detailed, classic, beautiful Monty prose.

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It’s styled as a bit of a ‘dip in and out’ reference book, but I read it cover to cover and enjoyed every sentence. Whenever I read a book by Monty Don, it reads like a wonderful story, like some of the best fiction. I want to be there, in this peaceful serene place. Except this is a diary of Monty’s year, running a two acre plot.

At the moment, I am personally drawn greatly to ornamental plants and garden design. Whenever I read one of Monty’s books though, it’s the vegetables and style of life that is most exciting. I’d love to step out of the kitchen door to scoop up copious herbs to go with my freshly dug new potatoes. I have never wanted a compost heap more than when I am reading something by The Don. Alas, this is tricky in Clappers on a paved patio. I can however dream of a future garden (or heaven forbid, a London allotment… I can hear you laughing from here).

Practically, this book is full to bursting with personal advice combined with specific guidance. You can follow this calendar of gardening and not go wrong. Whether it’s flower borders or pots, veg and fruit or hedges and topiary.

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Gardening at Longmeadow is imbued with histories and gardening factoids too. Something I’ve noticed is missing from most gardening books I’ve read. I find gardening history absolutely fascinating. It’s this depth, that helps make this book one easy to recommend.

Summary: Gardening at Longmeadow

A beautiful story of one man’s year running an organic, productive and enjoyable garden. Poetic and dreamy in its writing, it transports you to a place you want to be, and leaves you inspired to grow your way to a healthier, more wholesome life. Do I recommend it? Yes I do.

Score: 5/5

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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