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My Garden, the City and Me: Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London Hardcover – June 8, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Almost diarylike in style this insightful book might inspire you to start a rooftop garden of your own.”

(The American Gardener)

“Almost diarylike in style this insightful book might inspire you to start a rooftop garden of your own”

About the Author

Helen Babbs is a freelance journalist and writer in her mid twenties.  She has worked for the BBC, Associated Press and Time Out.  She is editor of the London Wildlife Trust’s magazine Wild London.  She has a monthly nature notes column in Kitchen Garden magazine and blogs on their website about her roof garden.  She also writes for Organic Garden and Home magazine. 

She loves nature and she loves London and strives to combine a keen interest in environmental issues with a passion for the arts and writing in particular.  She likes the idea of eco-culture.  When she’s not writing, she goes to puppetry classes and rock and roll dance lessons and organizes free mixed arts nights called ‘Look Both Ways’ at a local pub.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (June 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604691670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604691672
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,014,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This is a charming tale of one city dweller's adventures in starting edible and wildlife gardening. Except she doesn't have a garden, so undaunted she borrows her neighbour's kitchen roof to explore the possibilities. This really is gardening against the odds: a garden just 3 metres square with limited access to be gardened by a novice who has oodles of enthusiasm to get her over the hurdles.

Just how much can be grown in such a tiny space? Well, it turns out to be quite a lot and Helen Babbs tells us about her triumphs and disasters. In between life on her rooftop garden, She tells us about the various community projects and initiatives she's discovered which take place in London. This is in complete contrast to the usual view of London as a faceless city, and shows there's thriving communities to be discovered if one only knows where to look.

This is the tale of one year's growing, told by the season, which turns out to be a life changing experience, not only in Helen's new form of transport (a bicycle), but also a career change into freelance writing.

At the end of the book there's Helen's selection of the best plants to grow, the best moments she's experienced, things to read and places to go which forms a useful reference section for readers (not just those based in London I'm sure) inspired to follow in Helen's footsteps.

My only criticism is the length of the book: it's far too short and I was left wanting far more than a mere 140 pages. Luckily Helen has secured regular freelance work with several magazines and newspapers so more shouldn't be too hard to find.

NB this review first appeared on Amazon.co.uk
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My Garden, the City and Me: Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London
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