There is something very exciting about London gardens and London gardening. The gardening tends to be on a fairly small scale, unless you are really lucky, space being at a premium. Many Londoners seem to start with a window box and once bitten by the gardening bug are forever moving in search of bigger and more flexible spaces to fill with fruit, veg and flowers. As a garden fan, there is so much out there, hidden away in nooks and crannies around the city, but it is difficult to know where to find them.
Elspeth Thompson has compiled a fantastic book offering a wealth of inside knowledge for gardeners around the capital. The London Gardener discusses the challenges of London gardening and points out some excellent urban gardens, from squares and churchyards to ‘secret’ gardens and parks. The book ends with an really useful sourcebook with details of nurseries, garden centres, specialist shops, societies, designers, courses and even tree surgeons. This isn’t just a big cluttered list, but like a section of Thompson’s personal black book of gardening, a real treat in which she explains a little about what can be found from each listed service.
It was last revised in 2006, so some of the information may be out of date. The price of entry to the Chelsea Physic Garden is listed as £3 but it is now £8, so be warned! Even so, this is definitely worth getting hold of if you can, for the sourcebook, and the great info on ‘proper’ London gardens which you can take your friends to and pretend you found yourself.