The Apprehensive Gardener

The Apprehensive Gardener

Managing Garden Plants

Griselda Kerr has drawn on over 20 years of gardening knowledge and experience to create the book that she wishes she had had access to when, as a complete beginner, she started to revive the “dismal looking” plants in her garden - an indispensable, practical guide to how and when to look after more than 700 garden plants.

No coffee table book this, it is designed for constant quick reference, to be used, perhaps as a stand-in for a knowledgeable friend, for advice on specific plants. Look up each plant in a specially formatted index spread across the year and a page reference will take you to a short, clearly written entry on what to do in a particular month - whether to clip, deadhead or divide, cut right down, feed, mulch or leave well alone. Each of these gardening techniques is also explained in a comprehensive glossary

The Apprehensive Gardener is an attractive, durable, easy-to-use guide to plant care which will be referred to over and over again and will stand the test of time.  

Griselda Kerr, who trained in horticulture and garden design at the English Gardening School, Broomfield College and Brooksby College, is a gardener, lecturer and columnist who describes herself as ‘always thinking about plants’. Her vibrant garden in Derbyshire is regularly open to the public and frequently features on Instagram. Follow Griselda Kerr on Instagram @griselda.kerr.


"This month-by-month guide is crammed with good advice and suggestions on the best plants to grow. A really useful guide for novice gardeners, written with charm and verve."

Daily Mail - Best Gardening Reads of 2019

"A comprehensive, practical guide to growing and managing garden plants." 

Gardens Illustrated

"New and more experienced gardeners will welcome this informative guide on when best to prune, feed, mulch, cut back or leave well alone. Excellent cross-referenced index."

Derbyshire Life

"[The author] has made everything she has learnt available to any of us who step outside with a pair of secateurs and wonder where to start."

Derbyshire Life

"Designed to be used either as a reference book - each plant mentioned appears in a comprehensive index that allows you to track its care through the year -  or as a monthly guide...there is always something new to discover. I really liked this book."

The Chatty Gardener

"An accessible, easy-to-use and attractive guide to caring for the plants in your garden…a bit like having a knowledgeable gardening friend to hand."

Genus - Potpourri Newsletter

"Ideal for novices, this delightful book is divided into months of the year, covering maintenance, plant care and which areas of the garden to focus on, depending on the season. With a cheerful, encouraging tone, it contains a wealth of information."

Daily Mail

"A straightforward layout, easy to use and full of the kind of plant knowledge acquired through many years of testing and experimenting. Eminently practical...An essential reference's highly recommended for horticultural students as well as for garden designers who need to know about particular plants, and is destined to become a classic."

Garden Design Journal

"Likely to prove itself invaluable to rooky gardeners and to those better experienced but who still describe themselves as "apprehensive" when it comes to practical gardening. I will give copies to two chums new to gardening and keep mine close at hand for quick and easy reference."


"The internet can provide instant information, but it is so much more relaxing and enjoyable to leaf through a book on days when the weather is not welcoming outside...Set out as a compact easy-to-use reference, this book guides the reader month by month on exactly how and when to take care of individual plants and has an extensive index of 600 genera and 700 plants cross-referenced in the months where care and attention is needed."


"A novel format...An easy-to-use book."

The Irish Garden

"A quick reference guide to dealing with a variety of plants and problems in an easy to follow format, designed to reassure beginners and more experienced gardeners alike...Handy...helpful...extremely good value."

The Reckless Gardener

"An excellent guide to the practicalities of gardening."

House and Garden

"Griselda Kerr's impressive and useful tome on how to manage the plants one finds in the garden is a boon to the amateur....stuffed with sage advice...arm yourself with this guide and a pair of secateurs."

The Field

"Accessible and very much designed to be used with a muddy ideal work for those who may have recently inherited an established garden, or who might wish to extend their garden practice."

The English Garden

"Griselda Kerr describes The Apprehensive Gardener as a crook to lean on - a guide to how to make the plants in your garden happy. Maintenance becomes a creative force in Griselda's hands and her tips are interesting and well presented."

Country Living
The Pimpernel Press Ltd
The Pimpernel Press Ltd
Product Format
245 x 187
Publication Date
9 May 2019
Number of Pages