Winner of the Inspirational Book of the Year, Garden Media Guild Awards, 2017
Ambra Edwards and Charlie Hopkinson explore, in words and pictures, the lives, visions and achievements of fourteen very different head gardeners:
Ned Price of The Weir, Herefordshire; Fergus Garrett, Great Dixter, East Sussex; Paul Pulford, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; Mick Evans, Packwood House, Warwickshire; Beatrice Krehl, Waltham Place, Berkshire; Troy Scott Smith, Sissinghurst Castle, Kent; Lucille Savin, Merton College, Oxford; Alistair Clark, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Dumfries; Carol Sales, Headley Court, Surrey; Andrew Woodall, Broughton Grange, Oxfordshire; Michael Walker, Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire; Martin Ogle, Lowther Castle, Cumbria; and Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, West Dean Gardens, West Sussex.
A celebration of the most exciting gardeners working in Britain today
Ambra Edwards is a journalist with a special interest in garden history, and the people, passions and often surprising stories that lie behind our gardens. Three times voted the Garden Media Guild's Garden Journalist of the Year (2006, 2009 and 2015), she is a regular contributor to the Guardian, the Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated, Hortus and Country Living. She lives in Dorset.
Charlie Hopkinson is a portrait and landscape photographer specializing in the arts, gardening and landscape. As well as being published in magazines and books worldwide, his work is exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery. He lives in London
"Rarely do garden books move me to tears, but certain pages in Head Gardeners were so moving that I found myself welling up. This is a book which celebrates a gardener's resilience and imagination as well as the traditional gardening virtues."
"Includes interviews with 14 of Britain's most exciting gardeners. It allows head gardeners to tell their story, and gives us an insight into how their eyes and brains work."
"From Cumbria to Cornwall Ambra Edwards has talked most enjoyably to working gardeners in charge of very varied gardens."
"Ambra Edwards's fascinating interviews show what diversity there is in British gardens. It's a book about people and how they tick - people who happen to be gardeners."
"Thoughtful, sympathetic essay-interviews. Charlie Hopkinson's photograhs illustrate this compact volume well - and it's a new insight into the dedication of those who do the hard work of keeping great gardens alive."
"The writing is luminous and the stories are fascinating. It is a book that is achingly poignant and entirely inspiring."
"An engaging book … the skill set required is boggling: from arboriculture to folly maintenance, budgets to blogging, Charlie Hopkinson’s brilliant portraits capture their doughtiness.”
“The author, well-known for her sparky writing style and broad hinterland of interests, has interviewed 14 head gardeners in search of some answers, teaming up with the highly empathetic and skilled photographer Charlie Hopkinson to produce this visually appealing and revealing book about some remarkable people in horticulture… Nor is it hard to argue with her view that gardeners are undervalued by society, in status and reward. Let’s hope this brilliant book goes some way to redressing that.”
"An informative and eye-opening delight."
"How wonderful to see the passion and craftsmanship of 14 head gardeners celebrated in this new book."
"Edwards is so skilled at unearthing the often conflicting passions of her subjects you feel as though you are eavesdropping on an intimate conversation, illuminating person and place. Charlie Hopkinson's eloquent photographs capture the essence of their subjects. The book is also a covert plea for investment in gardeners at all levels."