Great things happen in gardens. No one can doubt the importance of the garden in Roald Dahl's life as it was here where he worked, and here that he created James and the Giant Peach. And where would Jane Austen have been if she had never seen a 'walk', an ornamental lake, or a wilderness?
Gardens hold a special place in many author's lives. For Beatrix Potter, Hill Top house was made possible by the new found freedom and wealth that a literary career can bring; for Sir Walter Scott, laying out his garden at Abbotsford was a way of distracting himself from mounting debts.
In this book of 18 gardens and 20 writers, the author examines how the poet, writer, novelist derived a creative spirit from their private garden, how they tended and enjoyed their gardens, and how they managed their outdoor space.
Jane Austen at Godmersham and Chawton
Rupert Brooke at Grantchester
John Ruskin at Brantwood
Agatha Christie at Greenway
Beatrix Potter at Hill Top
Roald Dahl at Gipsy House
Charles Dickens at Gad's Hill Place
Virginia Woolf at Monk's House
Winston Churchill at Chartwell
Laurence Sterne at Shandy Hall
George Bernard Shaw at Shaw's Corner
Ted Hughes at Lumb Bank
Henry James followed by E.F. Benson at Lamb House
John Clare at Helpston
Thomas Hardy at Hardy's Cottage and Max Gate
Robert Burns at Ellisland
William Wordsworth at Cockermouth and Grasmere
Walter Scott at Abbotsford
Rudyard Kipling at Bateman's
Jackie Bennett is a former editor of The Garden Design Journal, the English Garden Magazine and Gardening with the National Trust. She began her career in television, producing gardening and natural history programmes before become a full time writer. In 1990, she won an award for nature writing in the BBC Wildlife Magazine Awards and her books include The Wildlife Garden Month by Month (David & Charles 1990 – reissued in 2011), The Cottage Garden and Wild About the Garden (1997 a Channel 4 tie-in book for the TV series presented by Carol Klein). She won the Garden Writer’s Guild Gardening Column of the Year 2009 for a series about her own Norfolk garden. Jackie has studied garden design and landscape history. She runs writing workshops for the Society of Garden Designers and for the Cambridge and Oxford Botanic Gardens.