The Bad Tempered Gardener

The Bad Tempered Gardener
Author: 
Anne Wareham
Publisher: 
Frances Lincoln
Publication Date: 
2011
ISBN: 
978–0–711–23150–4

cloth, 168 pp., $24.95

As you may imagine from the title, Anne Wareham is not your usual garden writer. She is at times cantankerous, funny, insightful, controversial, but always stimulating. She notes in the introduction to this work that “I am a square peg in a round hole.” She sees the present garden world as “fast asleep. I attempt to waken the garden world up but it deeply resents my shaking it.” (p. 8) In the ensuing chapters, Wareham presents a history of her efforts, successes, and failures, in the Veddw in Monmouthshire, the garden she and her husband, Charles Hawes, created near the Welsh border. He has contributed wonderful photographs of this garden.

Most of the chapters are short, and every page reflects Wareham’s good sense, humor, and often biting criticism of present gardening ideas. Her comments in “I Hate Gardening," comparing garden work to housework done outside, probably are echoed by many gardeners. Yet, since she loves a garden, there is no way to have one without the work. This is a charming book reflecting the opinions of a very interesting woman who will make you laugh even if you might not agree with her, but who may also make you a better gardener.

— Joan Richards, Library volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden

Volume: 
13
Number: 
6