My Secret Garden

A personal tour of my own private plot

Author: Alan Titchmarsh

Pictures: Jonathan Buckley

Review: Clare Foster

We Think

As we all know, Alan Titchmarsh is a demi-god in the world of gardening. His affable, down-to-earth approach has scored him millions of fans and he is genuinely passionate as well as incredibly knowledgeable about his subject. So this book on the garden he has been creating over the last decade – a garden that he has promised his family will never appear on television – is destined to walk off the shelves. It is indeed, the only time we’re going to be allowed within its walls.

It’s a very personal book,with a text that is written from the heart, describing each part of the four-acre garden from wildlife pond and flower meadow to the more formal garden rooms nearer the house. Titchmarsh is almost apologetic about his penchant for classical touches and his love of formal lines and symmetry – but the garden displayed here is undeniably beautiful and entirely fitting for the Georgian farmhouse it surrounds.

We Love

Jonathan Buckley’s stunning photographs that show the garden through the seasons, so well-shot that they make you feel as if you’re almost there in the garden; finding out what plants make Alan tick (although he does wonder if he isn’t as adventurous as he should be when choosing plants); getting design ideas from the guru who self-effacingly describes himself as ‘a gardener who designs a bit’.  From the yew lollipops underplanted with alliums to the gypsy caravan where Alan has storybooks ready to read to his grandchildren, this is a real garden created with real passion, and the fact that he tells us that he walks around it every single day of the year, come rain or shine, says it all.