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Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.
After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.
He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spades was a Sunday Times bestseller.
He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.
Author photo by Mark Harrison © Hachette UK
Timothy Gandy has kept his lifetime's ambition secret for forty years. Now, suddenly (if tragically) released from the hen-pecked tedium of his ordinary existence, he is unexpectedly free to realize his dreams. He will embark on a Grand Tour of Europe, following in the footsteps of the aristocrats of the eighteenth century. He anticipates high art, culture and pleasant weather. He never expected to encounter new friendships - and possibly even love - along the way. It seems that Mr Gandy has embarked on the journey of a lifetime...
The Queen's life is dedicated to her public - every move is scrutinised, every word noted. But her homes are havens where peace can be found, away from watchful eyes; sanctuaries of private calm in a whirlwind life of public duty. In The Queen's Houses, Alan Titchmarsh takes us on a tour of the royal residences, examining the personal family stories behind these magnificent buildings. Through personal reflections, interviews with royal staff and meticulous historical research, Alan looks beyond the formal grandeur of Buckingham Palace, the imposing structure of Windsor Castle and the private escape offered by Balmoral and others. Illustrated with intimate family photographs and evocative memorabilia, The Queen's Houses offers a glimpse of life behind the state banquets and sovereign duties - a respectful study of the royal family at home.
September 2014 Book of the Month. A big, sprawling family saga revolving around a Scottish castle and estate. We have births, deaths and marriages galore; tragedy, mysterious students and skulduggery. The head of the household, the laird Charlie, is a sad man who tries to do right, plays his part with a heavy broken heart. This is a typical Titchmarsh saga, full of incident and passion, drama and mystery but not all is resolved and, although beautifully written, he has better books, try The Haunting and Folly.
After moving from the Barleywood garden where he hosted BBC Gardeners' World for seven years, Alan Titchmarsh set up home in an old farmhouse a few miles down the road, and went about planting his own private eden away from the public eye. In this horticultural memoir Alan finally reveals all about this secret garden, explaining with his trademark warmth the personal stories behind its design and evolution. Accompanied by beautiful photographs taken by Jonathan Buckley throughout the eight years in which the garden has been made, My Secret Garden allows us access to all of the successes and failures of this diverse and ambitious project. Comprising many different styles and spaces - from an acre of formal beds and ponds to wild flower meadows and a stunning winter garden - Alan's tales of development and cultivation will be applicable to all gardeners. With the plot encompassing fruit trees, a handsome greenhouse and wildlife-friendly plantings, gardeners of all styles and levels of expertise will find something to enjoy.
How can the mysterious disappearance of Anne Flint and the drowning of a young girl in a chalk stream in 1816 possibly affect the life of schoolteacher Harry Flint some two centuries later?With a failed marriage and no job, Harry begins to research his ancestors. The deeper he digs, the more he realises that the past is closer than he had ever imagined.The Haunting is a story of love, betrayal and intrigue. Where people are not what they seem, and the past is no more predictable than the future...
In this comprehensive and practical guide to the countryside, passionate and hugely knowledgeable countryman Alan Titchmarsh explores the heritage of rural Britain, its landscapes and wildlife, its traditions, customs and crafts. He'll look at the beauty of chalk downland, offer a checklist of British butterflies and where to find them and show how to make moth traps and wildlife ponds. He'll identify the best breeds of cattle for meat and milk, explain how best to look after a pig and the secrets of a successful small holding. From keeping chickens to dressing a stick, from dry-stone walling to creating a wild flower meadow.
The popular gardener, presenter and writer has produced a lovely memoir about his path to being a household name. A thoroughly enjoyable read. A message from Joanna Lumley: “Anything that makes reading easier is to be applauded – a bright light, a quiet room, large clear print…what could be more enticing. Focus has all my support." Joanna Lumley
Who would have guessed this charismatic gardener and very busy man would become such a prolific novelist? This is his fifth delightful romp. His strength is in his character sketches. Here we have a vibrant, bossy, over-zealous 86-year old Russian widow with time on her hands to interfere in her grandson, Nick’s life. She is a hoot and eventually Nick comes to realise that too. Good, light-hearted and sparkling.Comparison: Mavis Cheek, Madeleine Wickham, Amanda Brookfield.Similar this month: Daisy Waugh, Lou Wakefield.
Expert advice on hanging baskets, window boxes, patio pots and sink gardens. Advice on compatibility of containers and plants such as bulbs, climbers and fruit and vegetables, and how to arrange them for maximum visual and olfactory impact. Includes: * style solutions for all types of garden * comprehensive advice on plant selection * guidance on seasonal care, repotting, watering and feeding * tips on how to achieve year-round colour and scent Alan Titchmarsh imparts a lifetime of expertise in these definitive guides for beginners and experienced gardeners. Step-by-step illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions guide you through the basic gardening skills and on to the advanced techniques, providing everything you need to create and maintain your dream garden.
An anthology and miscellany of everything an Englishman should know: - From Austen to Wordsworth - Jerusalem to the Scout's Honour - Kings and Queens of England to Land of Hope and Glory - Savile Row tailors to Jermyn St Shirt Makers - Tying a Windsor knot to making a pot of tea - Victoria sponge to fish pie - The rules of cricket to Gilbert and Sullivan operas
The Nature of Britain is another landmark primetime series brought to us by the formidable Natural History Unit. In each programme Alan turns wildlife detective, taking us on a journey of discovery through eight different British natural habitats and their unique flora and fauna, week by week piecing together the jigsaw that makes up our homeland. Tying in with the series, The Nature of Britain is an inspirational, practical and definitive guide to British wildlife. Written by Alan, the book offers the reader a closer look at the animals and plants of Britain's landscape, following the structure of the series with chapters ranging from Mountains, Lakes, Forests and Seashores to Urban Landscapes. The Nature of Britain paints a beautiful contemporary portrait of Britains wildlife, and features fascinating essays on each habitat, followed by identification guides to the species that can be found in each one. It will be visually stunning, illustrated with over 900 breathtaking images.
Rob MacGregor, hired to recapture the declining audience for a daytime gardening programme, quickly becomes Britain's latest heartthrob. The only trouble is, Rob's co-presenter is not at all pleased to see his thunder stolen. Nor is Rob's longterm girlfriend, Katherine, pleased to find out that Rob's been having a steamy affair with one of the TV station's newsreaders... Rob's career goes from strength to strength, but he finds the in-fighting and TV politics harder and harder to cope with - and he's becoming increasingly concerned about his recently widowed father, who seems to be in danger of losing the small nursery the family has run for generations. Somebody is desperate to buy that land, and Rob is determined to find out why...
According to their friends, Tom and Pippa Drummond have the perfect existence - a great lifestyle, a lively marriage, and a great kid in Tally. In their late thirties, living in a converted barn on the edge of the Sussex Downs, Tom is a partner in 'The Pelican', a restaurant in Axbury Minster, and Pippa, after a short career as a cook, grows herbs for sale locally and brings up sixteen-year-old Tally - a lively blonde with her head screwed firmly on to her shoulders. A rare summer holiday is planned - an idyllic retreat in the Italian hills. Tom takes time off from the restaurant, Pippa leaves her herbs in the charge of a dotty neighbour, and Tally takes a break from the two men in her life - fast-living Alex and the plodding, persevering 'Blip'. Tuscany is everything they hoped it would be - cicadas in the trees, the scent of sage and citrus and suppers under the stars. But their joy is short lived. Overnight their lives, their circumstances, their very identities are suddenly altered, and life will never be the same again. From being the envy of their friends, the Drummonds are plunged into a world that nobody would wish upon them.
Alan Titchmarsh has had a passion for gardening for as long as he can remember. Aged 8, he announced to friends that he was going to be the next Percy Thrower, although he thought it was no more than a dream. With the magic touch of a best-selling writer, Alan tells his own story from Ilkley Moor to Pebble Mill and to the final realising of his dream of becoming TV's favourite gardener. Along the way, the cast of characters includes everyone from Auntie Ethel to Nelson Mandela and the Queen. With great charm, humour and passion, this is probably the best story Alan Titchmarsh has ever told.