Book Review: The Gardener's Travel Companion to England by Janelle McCulloch

I usually start book reviews saying that I have been sent the book or bought the book - this time dear reader I won the book.  I won it through a Twitter giveaway, it is not often I win things so this was rather exciting.
I did what I always do with books telling me about gardens, I looked in the index under P and whilst I did not find Portmeirion I did find Plas Brondanw, so I was happy, one of my favourite gardens is covered.  That this garden is in Wales and not in England could be seen as detail, but I noted that the book is published in Australia and so I forgave them.

The book is full of photographs that tempt you to go and see the gardens in reality.  There is also good advice, such as a week can make a huge difference in England's climate and gardens - this is very true.  Janelle explains that travelling here mid-April to garden visit might be cheaper, but you may experience poor weather.  From April to October Janelle tells you what you might hope to see and what the weather might be like.  The joy of Spring bulb gardens, of snowdrops and aconites is sadly missing but I will forgive that too.  Not everyone is as besotted with snowdrop gardens as I am and Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis have seriously disrupted snowdrop visiting this year.

There is a reading list of books that explain gardening and England and some of our more famous gardeners.  It is an interesting list and there are books listened I had never heard of and shall look up.

There is of course a list of gardens to visit, again some I know of, some I did not.  Then there is where to stay, which was very very interesting.  There is also a list of places that offer courses and workshops and floral events.  Best of all I could check the dress code for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show where I was assured that there isn't one - phew.

This is a fascinating book.  Whilst I decided it was a view from outside, this made it all the more relevant in some strange way.  I know I will dip in and out of this book and I have already learned from it.  I am so pleased I won a copy.

The Gardener's Travel Companion to England by Janelle McCulloch is published by Images Publishing and can be found on sale around £20

With grateful thanks to ACC Art Books. from whom I won the book.


  1. So - is it England, or England and Wales? (we get fed up of all the 'English garden stuff that inevitably leaves Veddw out because we're in Wales). I have a little suspicion that this has just randomly included Plas.....

    1. It is England - Plas is just randomly there.


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