My Garden is a Car Park: and other design dilemmas

In her Introduction to her new book, ‘My Garden is a Car Park: and other Design Dilemmas’, Kendra Wilson points out that the fear of gardening is quite common and that many of us don’t think about gardens at all until we are suddenly in possession of one.

There are always a few problems whether you are experienced or inexperienced, and, as Kendra points out, every garden has problems, albeit it size, shade, awkward shape or the fact that you share your garden with a car!

No matter if we are grappling with a particular dilemma or just need some inspiration, the answer might well be found within the covers of this neat little book. The title is apt at a time when the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) campaign ‘Greening Grey Britain’ is in full swing and we are being urged to consider, more than ever, what we do with our little or perhaps not so little plots.

I really like the approach this book takes – each page poses a question/dilemma, that the author then answers. The text is straightforward, there is no frightening garden ‘speak’ and while Latin names are quite rightly given, common names are also included. The author also includes a section on useful terms at the back of the book as well as a list of useful organisations and websites.

There is plenty of inspiration in the sensible advice given with the underlying message that no matter whatever the problem there is usually an achievable solution.

Many of the questions in the book I have asked myself time and again over my gardening life, such as: My garden is under siege; We have nowhere to sit; I don’t like weeding and My garden is too long and narrow. So whether you are worried about wisteria, have high walls and railings or just don’t like gardening in the cold, you might well find a suitable solution in Kendra’s answers.

The book is beautifully illustrated with a wide variety of photographs from a number of top garden photographers. The author’s approach is, I think, very suitable for the increasingly fast moving communication world we live in and I have a feeling that Kendra’s book will sit easily on my bookshelf for those times when I do indeed ask myself why my garden collapses after June or are roses complicated?

Kendra Wilson has access to some of the most remarkable gardens in England and writes for the American online publication Gardenista. With experience as a writer, picture editor and designer for Vogue, Condé Nast Traveller and Observer Food Monthly, she brings her unique perspective to the way gardens look and why they work.

Published by Laurence King – – ‘My Garden is a Car Park and other Design Dilemmas’, is available at £12.99.