The Secret Gardeners by Victoria Summerley

Prue Leith’s terrace

Oh my, this is a fabulous book for anyone who is a teeny bit nosy (in a Hello! crossed with Gardener’s World kinda way) and loves gardens. The Secret Gardeners, Britain’s creatives reveal their private sanctuaries is by Victoria Summerley and takes us behind the garden sheds of a few fabulous green spaces nurtured and loved by some interesting celebrity creatives.

Cath Kidston’s garden

Julian Clary, Rupert Everett, Cath Kidston, Kirstie Alsop and Bake Off’s Prue Leith (can I just say now that I love her, possibly as much as Mary) are just some of the interviewees. They don’t all do their own weeding and most of them acknowledge at least one gardener (sometimes a team, looking at you Trudie Styler and Sting) behind the scenes, but everyone seems totally, joyfully obsessive about their borders and vegetable patches.

Prue Leith in her garden

The images, by Hugo Rittson-Thomas, are lovely and may well end up on the mood board for your wish-list/mood board of greenhouse designs or aspirational topiary goals. Cameron Mackintosh’s partner Micheal Le Poer Trench seems a master clipper, with beautiful, cloud-shaped box hedges at their Somerset garden which had me looking sternly at my own wobbly attempts.

Rupert Everett’s house.

Some of the attached houses are pretty jaw dropping too, there’s another book in looking at their insides. Each celebrity gardener gets their own chapter, with interviews covering compost, soil types and planting strategies, as well as fluffier celeb insights, I loved Rupert Everett and his mum Sara, who live in a divine 18th century grade II listed house and garden with a bit of a river running through it.

Gryff Rhys Jones’s garden

A delight for any gardener and would make an absolutely ideal Christmas present for garden enthusiasts. Buy here.


1 Comment

  • Margaret says:

    Thank you so much for this recommendation have just bought three copies for Christmas presents. Oh, and one for myself. Perfect!

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