All you need to know about The Seasonal Gardener
Let the legendary British gardening writer Anna Pavord guide you through the seasons
There are few people gardeners would prefer to have beside them, when planning out their beds, than Anna Parvord. Pavord is the internationally recognised best-selling author of a wide range of gardening books; she contributed her gardening column to the Independent newspaper for thirty years and today, though she is in her eighties, continues to write for the Sunday Times and is an associate editor for Gardens Illustrated magazine.
A recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gold Veitch medal in 2001, Pavord continues to perfect her skills and her own plot of land, beside her eighteenth-century rectory in West Dorset.
She has written many different works throughout her long career, yet, like many a gifted horticulturalist, she has chosen to revisit and improve upon one of her earlier works.
Pages from The Seasonal Gardener
The Seasonal Gardener: Creative Planting Combinations is a significantly improved version of Parvord’s 2001 book, Plant Partners. A classic among the cognoscenti, this title features sixty star plants, each paired with complementary partner plants, enabling both novice and experienced gardeners to build up the beds, and get the most of out of these featured cultivars.
In this 2022 edition, Pavord includes shrubs alongside her favourite herbaceous plants, annuals and bulbs (something she omitted in the earlier edition), as well as newfound loves, including crocosmia hellfire and walkers low catmint.
With additions, Pavord guides readers from the bulbs of late winter and early spring through to the irises and tulips common to many gardens a little further along in the year, and on to the poppies and alliums of high summer, and the ferns and cyclamen of autumn.
In every instance, the author selects the perfect accompaniments to her star plants, choosing duos that create the best results, favouring, for example Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae and Tanacetum parthenium to sit alongside Narcissus Quail daffodils in spring, or the Papaver somniferum poppy and orlaya grandiflora to bloom alongside cistus cyprius at summer’s height.
High Summer. 1 (top right) Hosta ‘Krossa Regal 2 (top left) Aconitum ‘Bressingham Spire’ (Monkshood) 3 (bottom) Primula florindae (Giant cowslip). Page 141. From The Seasonal Gardener
Every inclusion in this 208 page hardback book is illustrated with beautiful, detailed photography, and The Seasonal Gardener also includes sets of alternative planting combinations towards the back of the book, if the initial combinations aren’t immediately appealing.
Anna Pavord. photo courtesy Anna Pavord
Pavord's prose is authorative yet friendly, guiding the reader through her choices while offering advice, background notes and charming personal reflections. Written to appeal to the green fingered, The Seasonal Gardener also includes enough detail and beauty to spur on the more cautious horticulturalist to pick up a trowel. To find out more and order your copy, go here.