Making a Garden – Successful Gardening by Nature’s Rules


Popular author and television presenter, Carol Klein, is a passionate plantswoman. Her enthusiasm for gardening and plants is infectious and she has enthralled and motivated a generation of gardeners with her expertise and knowledge.

Her new book ‘Making a Garden – Successful Gardening by Nature’s Rules‘ aims to express what she feels about gardening and what for her is the foundation on which it is based. It is a book she has been longing to do and I have no doubt that it will be a welcome addition on the gardening bookshelf.

side-Jacket-imageThe book dedication reads: “This book is dedicated to all those who inspire us all through their gardens, by listening to Mother Earth and heeding her words“. That dedication perfectly sums up what ‘Making a Garden’ is all about – getting the most from your garden by taking inspiration from what works in the wild – be it meadow, woodland, hedgerow, wetland, seaside or exposed setting.

Carol points out that nature is the best of teachers and if gardeners observe how she operates and base their own efforts on what they learn from her, they stand a good chance of creating beautiful gardens.

Carol stresses that the book is different from most in that it will not offer foolproof solutions or quick-fix formulae to solve horticultural problems, but hopefully enable the reader to think about where they garden, the similarities your plot might have with wild habitats and the sort of plants that will enjoy living there. In this, I think the book succeeds really well.

Her writing style is easy and informative and her enthusiasm shines through every paragraph. There are six chapters devoted to Woodland, seaside, exposed, hedgerow, wetland and meadow. Each chapter has case studies and ends with a plant directory of Carol’s favourite plants for that habitat. This I found really useful.

Jonathan Buckley’s photography is exceptional creating a beautiful balance with the text. The overall layout of the book is appealing making it a book you want to pick up and look at.

side-Carol-KleinI particularly enjoyed the chapter on the Seaside – living near the coast myself I found this really informative. ‘Along the Beach & on the Shore’ really fired up my imagination to appreciate the habitat in which I garden and what more I could do to encourage suitable plants, many of which I had not thought of before. From captivating sea hollies (Eryngium) to Agave Americana and Lupinus arboreus the possibilities are endless.

The Case Study on St Michael’s Mount in the Seaside chapter is an excellent example of what can be grown in exposed areas with perhaps little soil, whereas the case study on Solent Cottage, Hampshire, bring to life the challenges of gravel gardening.

Carol’s bestselling books include RHS Grow Your Own Veg, RHS Grow Your Own Fruit, Carol Klein’s Favourite Plants and Life in a Cottage Garden. She is a regular contributor to BBC Gardeners’ World magazine and Gardens Illustrated. She has lived at Glebe Cottage for 35 years, where her garden has become world famous for its glorious planting inspired by the rules of nature.

Carol Klein’s ‘Making a Garden, Successful Gardening by Nature’s Rules‘ is published by Mitchell Beazley in hardback at £25.00.