A prac­ti­cal guide to all as­pects of restor­ing a gar­den, of­fer­ing use­ful ad­vice, what­ever your level of gar­den­ing ex­per­tise or past ex­pe­ri­ence.

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Book Reviews - Re­viewer Matt Biggs is a Kew-trained gar­dener and pre­sen­ter.

Any­one who has in­her­ited an over­grown or derelict gar­den and faced that per­plex­ing co­nun­drum ‘where do I start?’ will know that an over­load of op­tions can in­duce panic when what is re­quired is clar­ity of thought and pur­pose. This book pro­vides the lat­ter. Log­i­cal in pro­gres­sion and easy to fol­low and un­der­stand, it in­spires con­fi­dence from page one. Start­ing with ba­sic ques­tions that need to be an­swered about the site be­fore spade slices into soil, Bailey then turns to the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of iden­ti­fy­ing weeds that are com­monly found in gar­dens with the aid of a pic­ture key and in­struc­tions for the re­vival of plants, which are help­fully cross ref­er­enced to more de­tailed ad­vice later in the book. As­sis­tance is not just hor­ti­cul­tural – the rec­om­men­da­tion that clashes with neigh­bours be avoided by dis­cussing prun­ing and con­struc­tion work be­fore it starts and guide­lines on tree preser­va­tion or­ders and other le­gal­i­ties, are es­sen­tials for a trou­ble-free project.

The mass of de­tailed prac­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion from prun­ing and plant­ing to re­plac­ing wob­bly fenc­ing, re­viv­ing paths and be­yond is de­liv­ered in eas­ily di­gestible por­tions, al­though the im­ages are not al­ways de­tailed enough to be in­struc­tional. Par­tic­u­larly help­ful are ba­sic el­e­ments of de­sign and sug­ges­tions for a mul­ti­tude of plants for ev­ery con­ceiv­able sit­u­a­tion, from damp shade to sun-baked pa­tios, while ba­sic re-de­signs are laid over im­ages of life­less lawns. These in­spire and in­stil be­lief that suc­cess is achiev­able.

It’s an ideal book for any­one faced with the prospect of restor­ing a gar­den. It leaves the reader with a sense of op­ti­mism that, no mat­ter how dire the sit­u­a­tion ap­pears to be, with the right in­for­ma­tion you can cre­ate a glo­ri­ous gar­den.

RE­VIVE YOUR GAR­DEN: HOW TO BRING YOUR OUT­DOOR SPACE BACK TO LIFE by Nick Bailey Pho­to­graphs by Jonathan Buck­ley Kyle Books, £25 ISBN 978-0857834324

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