Wild about Weeds: Garden Design with Rebel Plants

My first gardening book, Wild about Weeds: Garden Design with Rebel Plants (out now!) explores the trend in garden design for plants overlooked as weeds that bring so much beauty and wildlife value to our gardens.

Most of the book consists of plant spotlights with detailed info.

This well-argued advocacy for rebel plants shows why we should all be growing a few… Wallington’s lively and thought-provoking text urges us to be more imaginative in our gardens.
Gardens Illustrated

Wild about Weeds is a garden design book for future gardens, looking at the emerging plant community design philosophy I practice myself. It explores a selection of fifty weeds that I think can be really beautiful in gardens when grown properly. It is a very personal book to me, documenting my love affair with the plants we’ve come to know as weeds, the connection I feel with these misunderstood outsiders. It’s also a book that explores the future of how and why we garden and the role the plants we’ve come to know as weeds will play in all of our futures; whether we want them to or not.

The book also goes into detail about weeds to avoid and how to get rid of them for good.

Wild About Weeds is a book that will teach you more about plants generally, not just about weeds.
The Middle Sized Garden

My love of weeds started as a boy. I remember sitting on the lawn at school during lunch breaks picking the leaves of plantain and the flowers of daisies, looking at their structures closely. From there I have observed the beauty of weeds for decades; in gardens, on the streets in places like Brighton where I worked and London where I live. It has become an obsession: how they grow, where they grow, insects they attract, lifecycles and more. The concept of a book then started to grow while first studying at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh years ago, learning about controlling some of these plants but then seeing many used in show gardens.

A lovely, practical gardening book that celebrates the beauty and ecological value of the gorgeous plants that we have been silly enough to overlook.
– Jonathan Drori CBE, author of Around the World in 80 Trees

In terms of process, over the last five or so years I had been forming a long list of hundreds of weeds, gradually whittling them down to a carefully curated list I can recommend, included in the book. This was done by trialing each weed as part of forty or so of my garden designs, studying them in the wild and in other gardens around the world. I also spoke to a great many other experts from the world of horticulture, botany and conservation (a few I went on to interview, included in the book). Along the way I’ve amassed an archive of over 10,000 photos of weeds and I’m thrilled that a hundred or so are included in the book alongside those by talented photographers.

A large chunk of the book explores the history and nature of weeds – why do they spread?

There are some books that come into my life and a few hours later I have filled five pages of my notebook with their wisdom and brilliance. This is one of those.
Laetitia Maklouf, author of the Virgin Gardener and the 5 Minute Garden

This has all led to me incorporating weeds into some garden designs. This book explores my own emerging design style and ethos around a garden being alive – a micro ecosystem – to be encouraged to change over time in a sustainable way. Wild about Weeds explains how to do this, what a weed brings to the party and how to manage each one (or eradicate it if it gets too much). I’ve also looked at the worst weeds to avoid and those weeds that have transcended already into our good books.

In this excellent guide, garden designer Wallington rehabilitates the lowly weed… Wallington’s humour and passion for his subject shine through on every page. This new spin on an old subject will encourage both new and seasoned gardeners to look at what’s already growing in their garden (and what could be) with fresh eyes.
Publishers Weekly

I hope you enjoy the book and take something from it. Whether that’s to identify a colourful weed you see growing out of pavements or walls, ideally to find at least one weed that you love too. Or at least, to better understand weeds to be able to deal with them more easily.

You can order Wild about Weeds on Amazon here now or find it in most good book shops.

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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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