The Writer's Garden: How Gardens Inspired Our Best-Loved Authors

Author(s): Jackie Bennett


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 10
Rupert Brooke at Grantchester 20
John Ruskin at Brantwood 28
Agatha Christie at Greenway 36
Beatrix Potter at Hill Top 44
Roald Dahl at Gipsy House 54
Charles Dickens at Gad's Hill Place 62
Virginia Woolf at Monk's House 68
Winston Churchill at Chartwell 76
Laurence Sterne at Shandy Hall 84
George Bernard Shaw at Shaw's Corner 92
Ted Hughes at Lumb Bank 98
Henry James followed by E.F.
Benson at Lamb House 106
John Clare at Helpston 114
Thomas Hardy at Hardy's Cottage and Max Gate 120
Robert Burns at Ellisland 130
William Wordsworth at Cockermouth and Grasmere 138
Walter Scott at Abbotsford 148
Rudyard Kipling at Bateman's 158


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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. RICHARD HANSON'S work has appeared in books and magazines and he has photographed in the gardens of well-known garden writers such as Helen Yemm, Ursula Buchan, Francine Raymond and Ronald Blythe. His photography has been featured in The Garden Design Journal, and Gardening with the National Trust. His seasonal photographs of Houghton Hall in Norfolk were published monthly in The English Garden Magazine in 2010.

General Fields

  • : 9780711234949
  • : Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
  • : Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
  • : October 2014
  • : United Kingdom
  • : October 2014
  • : August 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jackie Bennett
  • : Hardback
  • : 1014
  • : 712.60922
  • : 176
  • : 250 colour photographs