The Garden in the Clouds

3.76 avg rating
( 63 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780007216512: The Garden in the Clouds

For anyone who’s wanted to live the dream but never had the nerve to try.

It was a derelict smallholding so high up in the Black Mountains of Wales it was routinely lost in cloud. But to Antony Woodward, Tair-Ffynnon was the most beautiful place in the world.

Equally ill-at-ease in town and country after too long in London’s ad-land, Woodward bought Tair-Ffynnon because he yearned to reconnect with the countryside he never felt part of as a child. But what excuse could he invent to move there permanently?

The solution, he decided, was a garden. In just a year he’d create a garden so special it would be selected for the prestigious Yellow Book – the famous National Gardens Scheme guide to gardens open to the public for charity. It’s an unlikely ambition to entertain in this most unlikely of settings, and one that soon sees Woodward driven by odder and odder compulsions – from hauling a 20-tonne railway carriage up the mountain to making hay with hopelessly antiquated machinery.

The path to Woodward’s elusive sense of belonging turns out to be a rocky and winding one, taking in childhood haunts, children’s books and Proustian nostalgia trips. As the family battles gales, mud and Welsh mountain sheep of marble-eyed cunning, not to mention the notoriously fastidious NGS County Organiser, it remains deeply uncertain whether the ‘Not Garden’ and the ‘infinity vegetable patch’ (that grows only stones) will ever make the grade…

Warm, thought-provoking and brilliantly funny, this is a memoir of a hopeless romantic with a grandly ludicrous ambition – an ambition to which anyone who’s ever dropped into a garden centre, or opened a packet of seeds, has already succumbed.

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Review:

‘Side-splitting brilliance … up there with Proust as a shimmering example of classic remembrance of things past’ Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

‘Uplifting…hilarious…testimony to what can be achieved with a dash of imagination and a very British refusal to admit defeat.’ Sara Wheeler, Mail on Sunday

‘I set out determined to dislike the book, and I completely failed to do so. There can be no higher praise than that’ Byron Rogers, Spectator

 ‘Woodward’s tongue-in-cheek account of finding, making and growing his own little patch of heaven is right on the button’ The Times

‘The funniest book I have read this year; and touchingly brave...the very best of self-deprecating British humour’ Sir Alistair Horne

‘Hilariously told…perfect bedtime reading: all aspiration and perspiration’ Best Gardening Books, Stephen Anderton, The Times

‘Very few people are brave enough to live a realisable dream and then to write about it in such a way that readers feel deep laughter and admiration. Antony Woodward has done just that’ Rory Knight Bruce, Country Life

‘Laugh-out-loud comedy…A book for anyone intrigued by the impetus behind the making of gardens, and for anyone who just enjoys a really good read.’ Lia Leendertz, Gardens Illustrated

‘A tale for all gardeners battling seemingly insuperable odds, the lesson being: “The trick of garden making, as of life, is not to moan about what you haven’t got, but to make the most of what you have.”’ Oxford Times

Review:

‘Told with a side-splitting brilliance that only a truly gifted writer can achieve. Not one dull page…up there with Proust as a shimmering example of classic remembrance of things past.’ Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

‘“Carry On” up a mountainside…uplifting…hilarious…In this thoughtful departure from standard “flit-lit”, Antony Woodward breaks new ground – literally. What gives this book an edge is the way the author interlaces gardening tales with his family story. Although [it] will appeal to Britain’s millions of gardeners, “The Garden in the Clouds” is much more than a horticultural tale. It is testimony to what can be achieved with a dash of imagination and a very British refusal to admit defeat.’ Sara Wheeler, Mail on Sunday

‘I set out determined to dislike the book, and I completely failed to do so. There can be no higher praise than that … I read [it] through in one sitting, at first from malice, then for enjoyment.’ Byron Rogers, Spectator

‘Woodward’s tongue-in-cheek account of finding, making and growing his own little patch of heaven is right on the button.’ The Times

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Woodward, Antony
Published by Harper Press, London (2010)
ISBN 10: 0007216513 ISBN 13: 9780007216512
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Book Description Harper Press, London, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 295pp,illustrated, bound iun brown cloth with fine dustwrapper. Monmouthshire; Octavo. Bookseller Inventory # 052981

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Woodward, Antony
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Book Description UK General Books, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007216513

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Book Description 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 159mm x 227mm x. Hardcover. For anyone who's wanted to live the dream but never had the nerve to try. It was a derelict smallholding so high up in the Black Mountains of Wales it was routinely lost in cl.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 304 pages. 0.566. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007216512

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