Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

The Garden in the Clouds Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic by Antony Woodward

Lovereading view...

Sue Baker's view...

Every now and then you read a book that you instantly love and want to share with everyone – this is one of those books. A delightful and captivating account of the mad pursuit of a garden fit for inclusion in the hallowed pages of the Yellow Book. Why so mad? Firstly there is no garden and secondly it’s quite possible that Antony Woodward’s garden in the Black Mountains will prove to be the highest in the country. But the race is on, a garden there is going to be and nothing is going to stand in the author’s way to achieving his dream.

Like for Like Reading:
A Place in My Country: In Search of a Rural Dream, Ian Walthew
Tales of the Country, Brian Viner


The Garden in the Clouds Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic by Antony Woodward

The son of two passionate gardeners, Antony Woodward was born with chlorophyll running through his veins. Unfortunately, growing up with Latin plant names took its toll, and he was ingrained early on with a profound loathing of both gardens and gardening. Buying Tair-ffynnon, a derelict smallholding 1,300 feet up in the Black Mountains of Wales, changed everything. Hooked by its beauty -- when not buried in cloud -- Woodward battles to meet the strict requirements of the famous 'Yellow Book' in this unlikely terrain. He finds himself driven by apparently inexplicable compulsions: wood chopping, hauling a 20-tonne railway carriage up a mountain, even beekeeping. Soon, his voyage along the rocky path to his own patch of paradise takes on a more personal tenor as he unearths the deep roots linking gardening and his childhood in this warm, funny and unlikely memoir. Beautifully written and effortlessly engaging, 'The Garden in the Clouds' is a compelling read for anyone who has ever gardened -- or ever dreamt of doing so.


'Woodward's tongue-in-cheek account of finding, making and growing his own little patch of heaven is right on the button, as is his nostalgic, romantic, down-to-earth attitude of make do, mend, maintain and modernise, making a life worth living and a garden worth showing right here at home in the mud'
The Times

'Very few people are brave enough to live a realisable dream and then to write about it in such a way that readers feel deep laughter and admiration!Anthony Woodward, once an award winning advertising copywriter and 'Country Life' columnist, has done just that!an energetic tale of an innocent abroad'
Country Life

'His progress is told with side-splitting brilliance that only a truly gifted writer can achieve!not one dull page!his lovely epilogue is up there with Proust as a shimmering example of classic remembrance of things past'
Daily Mail

'I set out determined to dislike the book, and I completely failed to do so. There can be no higher praise than that!I read it in one sitting, at first from malice, then for enjoyment'
Byron Rogers, Spectator

'Hilarious! Uplifting!The Garden in the Clouds is much more than a horticultural tale. It is testimony to what can be achieved with a dash of imagination and a very British refusal to admit defeat'
Sara Wheeler, Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Antony Woodward studied Art History at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has produced documentaries for the BBC and ITV, written for the Independent on Sunday, Sunday Times, Time Out and Independent. His first book, 'Propellerhead', made it onto several bestseller lists.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

31st March 2011


Antony Woodward

More books by Antony Woodward
Author 'Like for Like'


HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


288 pages


Biography / Autobiography




I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith