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The Jewel Garden Paperback – August 15, 2005
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Truly inspiring ... told with compelling honesty * Mail on Sunday * Overwhelmingly honest, passionate, inspiring, with prose to die for... a meditation on family and love * Independent on Sunday * Overwhelmingly honest, passionate, inspiring, with prose to die for. Like everything else Don does, this purports to be about gardens and gardening but is actually a meditation on family and love. * Julie Myerson, Books of the Year, Independent on Sunday * Truly inspiring... Told with compelling honesty * Mail on Sunday *
About the Author
Monty and Sarah Don have been gardening together for 30 years, originally in London, where they based their jewellery business, and over the past 30 years in Herefordshire, where they now live. Monty is best known for his weekly column on the Daily Mail, as main presenter of BBC Gardeners' World. And, of course, Nigel.
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A search revealed several books, one of which is The Jewel Garden, a journal written by both Monty and his wife Sarah. Subtitled A Story of Despair and Redemption, it tells about their meeting at Cambridge, their first successful jewelry design company and devastating financial reverses. Finally, it tells about their love of gardening, their devotion to each other and how these loves order their lives. The trade paperback has a number of lovely photos showing the Dons in their London days and the transformation of an old listed Herefordshire house on two acres into one of the country's amazing gardens.
The Dons are self-taught gardeners: they grow what they like with a preference for an informal look and the inclusion of vegetables that find their way to the table.
From Sarah: "Over the years life has become more comfortable and the happiest time that we spend together is in the garden. The energy has now gone from making it to sustaining its rhythm."
From Monty: "We have made this garden together; there is nothing in it that is not a result of that partnership. From the mess and joy of our past and present we have created a place that is intensely personal, yet lives quite separately from us. It is this precious thing that we are making out of life's muddle."
The above two observations epitomize the substance of this delightful memoir. If you love gardening, you will thoroughly enjoy The Jewel Garden by Monty and Sarah Don.
First published by Hodder and Stoughton, 2005. 179 pages.