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Monty Don is the main presenter of BBC-TV's Gardener's World. He is one of the UK's most respected gardeners and gardening writers. He has been gardening correspondent for the Observer since 1994 and is at the forefront of the environmental and organic gardening debate.
'From a very early age I loved the countryside as much as any garden and was fascinated by the life that I saw all around me from trees, wildflowers, birds, insects and mammals. In a sense this book has been over sixty years in gestation. I have kept notebooks and journals ever since I could write and I have drawn upon these as well as the events of the past year.' My Garden World by Monty Don is a celebration of every living creature that we all share. This year has given us the enforced opportunity to learn more about the fascinating natural world around us. Whether you live in the countryside or the town, Monty's observations and insights are relevant to each and every one of us. My Garden World is Monty Don's personal journey through the natural year, month by month, season by season, observed from the immediate world around him. 'Wildlife is not something that we watch happening in remote and exotic parts of the world on our screens, but right here in our own back yards and the more that we encourage it and learn to live with it, the more rewarding it becomes. If, in our own modest back yards, we can help preserve and treasure our natural world then we will make the world a better place -- not just for ourselves but for every living creature.'
This is not a book about French Gardens. It is the story of a man travelling round France visiting a few selected French gardens on the way. Owners, intrigues, affairs, marriages, feuds, thwarted ambitions and desires, the largely unnamed ordinary gardeners, wars, plots and natural disasters run through every garden older than a generation or two and fill every corner of the grander historical ones. Families marry. Gardeners are poached. Political allegiances forged and shattered. The human trail crosses from garden to garden. They sit in their surrounding landscape, not as isolated islands but attached umbilically to it, sharing the geology, the weather, food, climate, local folklore, accent and cultural identity. Wines must be drunk and food tasted. Recipes found and compared. The perfect tarte-tartin pursued. None of these things can be ignored or separated from the shape and size of parterre, fountain, herbaceous border or pottager. So this is a book filled with stories and information, some of it about French gardens and gardening, but most of it about what makes France unlike anywhere else. From historical gardens like Versailles,Vaux le Vicomte and Courances to the kitchen gardens of the Michelin chef Alain Passard. There are grand potagers like Villandry and La Prieure D'Orsan and allotments and back gardens spotted on the way. Monty celebrates the obvious French associations of food and wine and finds gardens dedicated to vegetables, herbs and fruit. It is a book that any visitor to France, whether gardeners or not, will want to read both as a guide and an inspiration. It is a portal to get under the French cultural skin and to understand the country, in all its huge variety and disparity, a little better.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 15 April 2010. The seasons in Monty Don’s hands are equally blessed. Capturing15 years of creative gardening at his farmhouse home in Ivington (in Herefordshire), Monty makes milky winter-sun pruning just as pleasurable as the heady thrills of summer gardening. It is an everyday diary but each entry comes from different years within the span – so there’s a story of Weeds on 9 January 1999 followed by Moles on 10 January 2004. But it all reads seamlessly, as seasons do in memory. His writing, like his gardening, is rigorous, solid, honest, beautiful, whimsical. His happiest experiences include being in the garden with his wife Sarah, each on their own patch, simultaneously working out their dreams for the place.
The book to accompany the TV series has all the charm of the gardener and presenter himself. A lovely book looking at gardens from all over the world, with their varying species and styles. The only criticism we can give is that perhaps there aren't as many photographs as you might like but this is still a lovely book.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDWARD STANFORD PHOTOGRAPHY TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR 'A fabulous, bonsai-filled book' Daily Mail The complement to the BBC2 series, Japanese Gardens: written by the nation's favourite gardener Monty Don, and beautifully produced with over 200 original photographs from Derry Moore. Traditional Japanese gardens combine aesthetics with ethics in a perfectly curated celebration of nature. A Japanese garden is the natural world made miniature: rocks represent mountains, ponds represent seas. In this personal and lyrical exploration of both the traditional and the modern aspects of Japanese gardening, Monty Don takes a look at the traditions and culture which inform some of the most beautiful gardens from all over Japan, from Kenroku-en to the Zen gardens of Tokyo and the historic beauty of Kyoto. Monty Don and Derry Moore guide us through the history and spectacular seasons of Japanese gardens, from the famous cherry blossom celebration hanami to the autumnal crimson magnificence of momijigari. Monty Don also explores the creative forms uniquely associated with Japanese gardens, from stone-masonry and ikebana to the intricate skill of bonsai. Stunningly photographed by Derry Moore, Japanese Gardens is a fascinating exploration of a unique relationship with gardens. 'An illuminating insight not only into the history and horticulture of some remarkable gardens but also into the Japanese culture and psyche' Gardens Illustrated ALSO BY MONTY DON & DERRY MOORE PARADISE GARDENS: THE WORLD'S MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAMIC GARDENS As seen on the highly acclaimed BBC2 series, a glorious celebration of the richness of Islamic culture through some of the most beautiful gardens on earth. 'Sun-filled escapism' Country Life 'Simply breathtaking' Love it!
For years, Britain's much-loved gardener Monty Don has been leading us down all kinds of garden paths to show us why green spaces are vital to our wellbeing and culture. Now, he travels across America with celebrated photographer Derry Moore to trace the fascinating histories of outdoor spaces which epitomize or redefine the American garden. In the book, which complements the BBC television series, they look at a variety of gardens and outdoor spaces at the center of American history including the slave garden at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate, Longwood Gardens in Delaware, and Middleton Place in South Carolina. Together, they visit verdant oases designed by modernist architects such as Richard Neutra. They delve into urban outdoor spaces, looking at New York City's Central Park, Lurie Garden at the southern end of Millennium Park in Chicago, and the Seattle Spheres. Derry Moore gives his unique perspective on gardens across the United States, including several not featured in the TV series. These include unpublished photographs of Bob Hope's Palm Springs home and garden of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Featuring luscious photography and Don's engaging commentary, this book will leave you with a richer understanding of how America's most important gardens came to be designed.
'One of the most thrilling moments occurred ten years ago when I found a single wild flower growing on a grassy bank. It was not particularly rare - a common spotted orchid - but it was like discovering a pot of gold - or perhaps, more accurately, the promise of gold. It was a sign that recovery was possible from even the most inauspicious situation.' Spend a year in the garden with Monty Don - the UK's favourite gardener, writer and broadcaster - accompanied by his beloved dogs, Nigel and Nellie. A breath of fresh country air. Each season has something different to delight in - from the primroses and bluebells of spring, to butterflies that colour summer skies and the crowds of migrating swallows that herald the coming of autumn - all have a place alongside the yearly cycle of growth and renewal. My Garden World is an ode to the ever-surprising and comforting presence of nature. In exquisitely written prose, reflecting the best of nature writing, this book offers an opportunity to walk alongside Monty, month by month, and experience the commonplace miracles and rhythms of nature through his eyes.
Written as he talks, this is Monty Don right beside you in the garden, challenging norms and sharing advice. Discover Monty's thoughts and garden ideas around nature, seasons, color, design, pests, flowering shrubs, containers, and much more. Read about the month-by month jobs he does in his own garden that he hopes are relevant to you. Monty's intimate and lyrical writing is accompanied by photos of his garden, showing areas rarely seen on television. This is the perfect gift for the gardener in your life. I have written many gardening books but this is the distillation of 50 years of gardening experience. It has all the tips and essential pieces of knowledge that enable you to make your garden grow well, and it also shares my view that gardening is the secret to living well too. - Monty
'Lavish ... a celebration of the history and enduring romance of Islamic gardens' Washington Post As seen on the highly acclaimed BBC2 series Monty Don's Paradise Gardens, a glorious celebration of the richness of Islamic culture through some of the most beautiful gardens on earth. In the Islamic tradition, a garden with its central elements of water, the scent of fruit trees, and places for rest and reflection, celebrate heaven on earth. Paradise gardens play a central role in everyday life in the Islamic world, yet little is known about them. Monty Don and acclaimed photographer, Derry Moore, set off on a journey to find out more about the principles and immersive delights of paradise gardens and how a very different culture and climate has influenced garden design round the world. Their journey covers twenty-nine gardens from the Real Alcazar and the Alhambra in Spain, and Le Jardin Majorelle in Morocco, to Highgrove and a Mughal garden in Bradford in England. There are some spectacular and rarely seen examples such as Pasargadae and the Maidan in Isfahan, Iran, the birthplace of paradise gardens, as well as the more renowned examples such as Turkey's Topkapi Palace and the Amber Palace and Taj Mahal in India. 'A garden, green and filled with water is heaven on earth - it is paradise.' Monty Don ALSO BY MONTY DON & DERRY MOORE JAPANESE GARDENS: A JOURNEY An exploration of the exquisite beauty and fascinating history of the most beautiful and famous gardens across Japan, from Kenrok-en to the Zen gardens of Tokyo. 'A fabulous, bonsai-filled book' Daily Mail
Growing some fruit, veg and herbs is one of the most life-enhancing, practical and enriching things that anyone with a scrap of land can ever do. - Monty Don Unrivalled gardening wisdom from Britain's favourite gardener. Written as he talks, this is Monty Don right beside you in the garden, challenging norms and sharing his advice based on years of experience. Month-by-month, Monty reveals the jobs he does in his own garden, that he hopes are relevant to you. Discover Monty's thoughts and musings on nature, seasons, colour, design, pests, flowering shrubs, containers, and much more. Monty's intimate and beautifully written narrative is accompanied by photos of his own garden. You need nature more than she needs you. It is not an equal relationship. Serve her well and she will look after you. Abuse her and everyone loses. - Monty Don
NIGEL - One of Britain's favourite dogs! When Monty Don's golden retriever Nigel became the surprise star of BBC Gardeners' World inspiring huge interest, fan mail and his own social media accounts, Monty Don wanted to explore what makes us connect with animals quite so deeply. In many respects Nigel is a very ordinary dog; charming, handsome and obedient, as so many are. He is also a much loved family pet. He is also a star. By telling Nigel's story, Monty relates his relationships with the other special dogs in his life in a memoir of his dogs past and very much present. Witty, touching and life-affirming, Nigel: My family and other dogs is wonderfully heart-warming. Monty Don is a great writer coming out of the garden and into the hearts and homes of every dog lover in the UK. 'I have always had a dog, or dogs. I cannot imagine life without them. I am just as much a fan of Nigel as any besotted viewer. In the book I explore why we love dogs and what they mean to us emotionally and domestically. I look back on all the dogs in my life - all of which I have loved deeply and which have been an essential part of my life. So, this is the book of Nigel - but also the book of all our dogs in every British family and a celebration of the deep love we feel for them' Monty Don
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER NIGEL - One of Britain's favourite dogs! MONTY DON - One of Britain's favourite presenters. When Monty Don's golden retriever Nigel became the surprise star of BBC Gardeners' World inspiring huge interest, fan mail and his own social media accounts, Monty Don wanted to explore what makes us connect with animals quite so deeply. In many respects Nigel is a very ordinary dog; charming, handsome and obedient, as so many are. He is a much loved family pet. He is also a star. By telling Nigel's story, Monty relates his relationships with the other special dogs in his life in a memoir of his dogs past and very much present. Witty, touching and life-affirming, Nigel: My family and other dogs is wonderfully heart-warming. Monty Don is a great writer coming out of the garden and into the hearts and homes of every dog lover in the UK. 'I have always had a dog, or dogs. I cannot imagine life without them. I am just as much a fan of Nigel as any besotted viewer. In the book I explore why we love dogs and what they mean to us emotionally and domestically. I look back on all the dogs in my life - all of which I have loved deeply and which have been an essential part of my life. So, this is the book of Nigel - but also the book of all our dogs in every British family and a celebration of the deep love we feel for them' Monty Don
Monty Don made a triumphant return to our screens as presenter of Gardeners' World. A firm favourite with viewers, Monty's infectious enthusiasm for plants, attention to the finer details of gardening technique and easy charm have seen the ratings soar. Here Monty invites us into the garden at Longmeadow, to show us how he created this beautiful garden, and how we can do the same in our own. Following the cycle of the seasons, Gardening at Longmeadow will introduce readers to the garden from the earliest snowdrops of January through the first splashes of colour in the Spring Garden, the electric summer displays of the Jewel Garden, the autumn harvest in the orchard, and on to a Christmas feast sourced from the vegetable gardens. Describing the magic of each area at different times of the year, Monty will explain the basics of what to do when and how to get the most from each plant. He'll talk through the essential techniques and more complex processes, accompanied by easy-to-follow, step-by-step photography. Longmeadow is a gardeners' garden, but this will be a book for gardening enthusiasts of all skill levels who have been inspired by what they've seen, and who would like to achieve something similar for themselves.
Written with passion and packed with practical information, Monty Don's The Complete Gardener is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to garden. Here, Monty reveals the secrets of growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs while respecting the needs of the environment by gardening organically. Grounded in his own experience, Monty's straightforward gardening advice is paired with extraordinarily beautiful photographs taken over the course of a year in his own Herefordshire garden, taking you on a tour of his flower garden, herb garden, kitchen garden, and more.
'Gardens are complex and messy and, as in life, there are few easy fixes.' 'Planting trees is deeply satisfying and good for the soul, especially on a winter's day. What else can a human do that leans so far into the future.' Monty Don, the face of British gardening, has written a weekly Observer column on his garden for the past ten years. Over time the columns have been a practical guide, a poetic record of the garden's changing seasons, and also a personal account of how the garden has kept his feet firmly planted on the ground through bad times and good. This is a collection of fifty of Monty's best columns, that will delight his readers and gardeners everywhere. 'Growing vegetables, herbs and fruit should be done in the same spirit as choosing your music or clothes: with a mix of precision and adventure.' 'One swallow may not make a summer but it damn sure made my day.'
'TRULY INSPIRING' Mail on Sunday Now familiar to millions of Gardeners' World fans as Longmeadow (the home of Nigel & Nellie), this is the story of Monty & Sarah Don's early days there. The Jewel Garden is the story of the garden that bloomed from the muddy fields around the Dons' Tudor farmhouse, a perfect metaphor for the Monty and Sarah's own rise from the ashes of a spectacular commercial failure in the late '80s . At the same time The Jewel Garden is the story of a creative partnership that has weathered the greatest storm, and a testament to the healing powers of the soil. Monty Don has always been candid about the garden's role in helping him to pull back from the abyss of depression; The Jewel Garden elaborates on this much further. Written in an optimistic, autobiographical vein, Monty and Sarah's story is truly an exploration of what it means to be a gardener.