The Questions - Anya Lautenbach author of The Money Saving Gardener

You may well be aware of Anya the Garden Fairy on Instagram where  Anya has been sharing her gardening money saving tips.  I was delighted to see that Anya has recently written a book called The Money Saving Gardener and this felt like too good an opporunity to miss to ask Anya to answer The Questions and review the book.

photo c/o The Moneysaving Gardener

The Moneysaving Gardener is my kind of book.  Gardening can be an expensive hobby both in monetary terms and in its impact on the planet. I have not paid for this book nor have I been paid to write this review.  My words and opinions are my own.

We all know about the cost of peat-removal, and the carbon footprint of a plant transported from here to there, the compost and the plant pots etc all mounts up.  We also know that plants can be very costly in monetary terms too and for good reason.  When you buy a plant you are buying the skill, time and care that someone has put into it.  I have a relatively large garden for an urban area and seed sowing and propagating has been a key method behind my plantings.  It is economically necessary, good for the plant and propagting is fun.

Anya came to this country from Poland where she began gardening at an early age helping her mother grow food to feed the family.  Whilst this is what I call a 'how to' book, it is also a personable book, you do get a sense of Anya as a person.  She talks to you, not at you.  Central to the book is about thinking ahead, planning and observing.  Anya shares her 'top tips' that often are based on these themes such as making a list of bulbs you want to buy and then keeping an eye out for if they appear in sales or bargain bins.  Another fabulous tip when thinking of tree/shrub planting Anya shares with us is to visit gardens in the locality and see what is growing well (and not so well).  If they thrive locally they are likely to thrive for you.

Anya also talks about patience particularly when if you move to a garden new to you.  Anya says you should wait and see what comes up, what you might decide you like after all and what you might improve such as a tree that will benefit from having a rose grown up it. 

As you would expect Anya believes in not using chemicals and growing in harmony with nature.  This saves you money and helps save the planet.

The book has well structured clear instructions for the different propagation methods Anya explains.  There are lots of good clear photographs too to demonstrate and encourage.  I think the ethos of the book is explained by Anya's chapter heading 'Buy less, waste less'; a rule for more than just our gardening lives. 

The Money Saving Gardener is published by DK and retails for around £16.99 at the time of writing.

The Questions 


In which garden do you feel happiest?

My own garden and Waterperry Gardens



If you could only have five garden-related tools, which would they be?

Edging tool, lawn shears, a wheelbarrow, a spade, a trowel



If you could only have five garden-related books, which would they be?







1. RHS A-Z Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants

This book is my bible. Whether you are a gardener or just need to identify a plant and learn something. A must have for everyone!

2. RHS Propagating Plants: How to Create New Plants For Free
There is no better book about propagation than this. Even after 35 years of propagating plants I keep looking for information in this clear and informative book.
3.RHS Pruning and Training
Everyone needs to prune something at some point in their life and this is another must have book for everyone. Packed with clear and easy instructions accessible to everyone.
4.Grow Herbs: Essential Know-how and Expert Advice for Gardening Success (DK)
I have learned so much from this book and got inspired with every page about the most popular herbs and also discovered the less well known ones. Such a brilliant book.
5. The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins A must read or listen to book for any plant lover. A book that gave me goosebumps. A truly fascinating way of looking at plants and describing the connection between us and plants in the most intriguing way. A confirmation of what so many of us feel.



What was the most defining moment in your life so far?


Having my boys, writing a book


What are you most proud of?


My sons


If you won the lottery, what would you do?


A big greenhouse


Who are your garden heroes (no more than three)?


My Mum, My Mother-in-law, Claus Dalby


What skill would you like to learn and why? (does not have to be garden related).

Sailing. I like the idea of sailing.


If you could visit any garden right this minute, which one would it be?


RHS Wisely



What is your current plant obsession?



Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya ovata)


Which garden tool is never far from your hand?



A trowel


What is your favourite gardening/plant related word?


Propagation 😉



What do you wish you could do better?


Be better organised




What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?


To accept things


What makes a perfect day for you?



A nice country walk with my boys


If you had one piece of advice to offer to someone what would it be?


Never give up. Take a break, rest, but never give up.


Gnome or no gnome?


No gnome. My brother-in-law has a gnome factory. Definitely not my thing😊




A huge thank you to Anya for taking part in The Questions - a brother in law with a gnome factory is definitely a first for this blog!  

Take care and be kind.

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