cloth, 192 p., $29.95
Barnsdale in Rutland, England, was a group of small gardens created by Geoff Hamilton on his property expressly for filming his television series. They were intended as modest idea gardens for viewers and were immensely popular. After his death, his family felt it would be appropriate to open the garden to his admirers. Thus, they created a large public garden claiming 60,000 visitors each year, while retaining the charm of smaller, visually appealing landscaped vignettes.
Tony Hamilton has written an elegy to his twin brother, promising not a garden but a simple snapshot. It describes a year’s hard work by his nephew and devoted staff, as well as the vagaries of dealing with the public, and supplies details about everything from car parks to coffee shops, nurseries to plant labels.
A Year at Barnsdale is written in an endearing, non-stop, chatty style, as if Hamilton was confiding to you over a cup of tea. If you love descriptive garden books, this is one you will love!
— Adele Kleine, library volunteer and master gardener, Chicago Botanic Garden, and contributing writer to Chicagoland Gardening magazine