Book Review: Revive Your Garden by Nick Bailey

Many of us have been watching Nick Bailey on Gardeners World, his items on how to revive a tired or problematic garden space have been practical and enjoyable.  When I saw that Nick had written a new book on this subject I was keen to read and review it.  I have been lucky enough to have been sent this book to review so I have not paid for it, but my opinions and words are as ever my own.

Nick has been a professional horticulturalist for more than two decades.  Nick has designed gardens for Chelsea Flower Show (winning Silver Gilt in 2016) and was the Head Gardener at the Chelsea Physic Gardener.  This means that Nick knows his stuff.
This book is a good solid tome.  This is good as I assure you that you will want to keep this book and refer back to it often.  The book grabbed me at the moment I opened it up and saw that the first chapter is called 'Understand', this is the really important process of getting to know your garden. Understand where the sun rises and sets; where the cold bits are, what grows well in which part.  Every garden has its different parts and understanding them is key to success when gardening. Nick talks us through this process, asking us to think about paving (in my garden the crazy paving is cool,  which is another way of saying it is just too expensive to remove); he asks us to look at whether the shed is in the right place and are there shrubs that can be revived or removed.

From there on Nick takes us through the basics such as getting to know our soil.  There are clear photographs taking us through the stages and different types of soil.  This use of photographs is used throughout the book and I really like how clear it makes the subject and how easy it is to understand.  Nick does not assume knowledge but also does not patronise, a skilful mix.

The book is laid out well and uses some really nice touches to help explain different ideas.
I love how the book is annotated for us, so you cannot fail to understand what is meant by 'dormant bud' when pruning.

In the case study section there are some 'transparent' overlay pages that fit over the pages underneath to help show what is being talked about and what can be achieved.
I always approve of any gardening book that shows clearly which are weeds and which are not.  This book suits all levels of gardening knowledge as Nick explains things well and does not patronise.  It is a good mix of practical advice and inspiration.  The breadth of information in this book is astounding.  From how to deal with bare patches in lawns to how to move bulbs that are in the wrong place, plants to grow under trees and how to revive a fence.  There is even a page on how to revive gravel.

I thought the book might be quite good, I hoped it would be good.  It is a master-class from start to finish.  Buy it, you will not regret it.

Revive Your Garden by Nick Bailey is published by Kyle Books and retails at  around £25; though I have just checked the pre-order price on a well known internet book seller and it is under £18.  Revive Your Garden is being published on 26th April 2018


  1. I love Nick Bailey’s first book, ‘365 Days of Colour’. He always seems like the happiest man on telly.


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