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The Road to Le Tholonet A French Garden Journey by Monty Don
  

The Road to Le Tholonet A French Garden Journey

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An attractive blend of memoir and travel, recalling past holidays and visits to France together with a discourse on French gardens, so very different to ours. The English fixating on the how and wanting to get our hands dirty and the French focusing on the philosophy of gardens and garden design - not wishing to sully their hands with hard toil. Monty Don’s journey takes us to some of the best gardens in France, outlining our different approaches to gardening which together with climate and history has led to two very diverse gardening traditions.

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Synopsis

The Road to Le Tholonet A French Garden Journey by Monty Don

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.

About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th March 2014

Author

Monty Don

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Author's Website

www.montydon.com/HOME.html

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Publisher

Simon & Schuster Ltd

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

The Real World
Gardening
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Gardens (descriptions, history etc)
Travel writing

ISBN

9781471114588

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