About the book
Gardening can be viewed as a largely pointless hobby, but the evangelical zeal and camaraderie it generates is unique. Charlotte Mendelson is perhaps unusually passionate about it. For despite her superficially normal existence, despite the fact that she has only six square metres of grotty urban soil and a few pots, she has a secret life. She is an extreme gardener, an obsessive, an addict. And like all addicts, she wants to spread the joy. Her garden may look like a nasty drunk old man’s mini-allotment, chaotic, virtually flowerless, with weird recycling and nowhere to sit. When honoured friends are shown it, they tend to laugh. However, it is actually a tiny jungle, a minuscule farm, a wildly uneconomical experiment in intensive edible cultivation, on which she grows a taste of perhaps a hundred kinds of delicious fruits and odd vegetables. It is a source of infinite happiness and deep peace. It looks completely bonkers. Arguably, it’s the most expensive, time-consuming, undecorative and self-indulgent way to grow a salad ever invented, but when tired or sad or cross it never fails to delight.
Published by Kyle Books
As a keen gardener myself, I adored this book!! I found myself on way too many occasions recognising my own irrational behaviours when it comes to the world of gardening and how a simple hobby transforms you into a raving maniac at times!
This is a real book for real gardeners! It understands the struggles and realities of gardening with restrictions of plot size, but never in your ambitions of just what you ‘think’ you can grow! And you really get the passion that the author feels for the subject as it takes you through so many topics – gardening catalogues, seed buying addiction, the hatred towards garden pests, the thrill of germination, gardening clothes – just to name a few! I think it’s one of those books I’ll be going back to over the years to feel that I’m not alone in my thoughts about gardening! How it can drive you to despair one minute, and then bring you so much joy the next!
Charlotte is a gardener who prefers to grow things to eat so it’s also fun to hear her thoughts on how she tries to plan ways of expanding her garden menu, and it’s also written with humour! It takes you through a year so points out the highs and lows of each season, the dreams and realities that each month brings and the never ending list of things to do!
And it was also nice to know that I’m not the only gardening who thinks certain ways about other gardens! As the author writes ‘ despite the chaos of my own garden, i feel entirely justified criticising everyone elses’!!! Yes to this!!!
So if you’re a gardener, or you know a gardener, then I’d highly recommend this book as you or they will ‘get it’!! The obsession, the erratic behaviour caring for your plants creates, the joy of compost and the art of plant watering!! It’s all there and I loved every page!