Home & Gardens: Borders Lines; the Jewel Garden by Monty Don and Sarah Don. Hardback. Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. 224 Pages
Monty Don is rapidly developing into a national institution, as befits any stalwart television gardener. His outward, affable manner, his sheer enthusiasm for his work and his acute honesty (particularly the candid way in which he has discussed hius frequent bouts of depression) have all marked him out as a bloody nice bloke.
The Jewel Garden is the story of how and he and his wife Sarah got where they are today and how the former jewellery designers lost everything but clawed back to live a hand-to-mouth existence.
Nearly 20 years ago the couple were among Britain's leading designers of fashion jewellery. But when the recession hit they lost everything, including their business and their homes. They just managed to scrape together enough money to buy a near ruin of a house in the Herefordshire countryside. There, Monty, who descended into depression, threw himself into creating a garden in the bare two-acre field behind the house, before TV work came his way and he was able to claw himself out of poverty.
They still live in the same house, having grafted month-in-month-out to transform their blank canvas and, after much hard work, have a beautiful garden, which is detailed in their new book. …