Diary of a Modern Country Gardener: paperback

Tamsin Westhorpe

Paperback (signed), Paperback ISBN - 978-1-903360-49-1


Diary of a Modern Country Gardener: paperback

Tamsin Westhorpe

Country gardening may not always be glamorous, but it’s certainly entertaining. Discover a year in the great outdoors with practical hints and tips for all seasons.


“This congenial and delightfully presented gardening companion has already put a spring in my step”

– Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller


Diary of a Modern Country Gardener is the ultimate gift for the gardening enthusiast. Those just starting out will find just as much in this handbook as the seasoned countryside gardener.

An accessible ode to gardening sprinkled with Tamsin Westhorpe’s favourite plants, timely reminders and accounts of the twists and turns of planting through the seasons. Set in an open garden at the heart of a working farm, Tamsin’s diary is – above all – a love letter to the countryside.

Those who have grown up in the country will enjoy Tamsin’s memories of hearing the bleating lambs to signal springtime. Those who haven’t will love accounts of the RHS Chelsea flower show, and the joys of talking at garden clubs. Whatever your experiences, pick up tips from someone who lives, breathes and eats country gardening…

Praise for Tamsin Westhorpe

“Enchanting… made me want to rush out into my own garden”
– Constance Craig Smith, Daily Mail

“Self-deprecating and practical … a welcome arrival”
– Anna Pavord, The Sunday Times

“Perfect bedside or bath time reading”
– Laetitia Maklouf, author of The Five Minute Garden

“I felt as if I were kneeling down in the damp soil right next to her”
– Mike Palmer, garden designer and writer

“Peppered with outdoorsy insights”
– Helen Yemm, Daily Telegraph


About the author

Tamsin is a hands-on gardener at her family garden, Stockton Bury in Herefordshire, which regularly features in round-ups of the best UK open gardens to visit. She is also a public speaker, podcast presenter and RHS judge. Her proudest achievements are being a judge at RHS Chelsea and starting her career as a greenkeeper at a young age.

When she isn’t in the garden, Tamsin is a features writer for newspapers and magazines. She is also former editor of The English Garden, and deputy editor of Amateur Gardening magazine. She is a prolific lecturer at home and abroad and her aim is to make her audiences laugh.


I have written this book in real-time from the potting bench at Stockton Bury Gardens in Herefordshire. The garden is at the heart of a working farm, which has been in my family for over 100 years.

My great-great grandfather bought Stockton Bury in 1886, and I am one of the fifth generation of family to work the land here; each building and patch of ground has its own story to tell. My sisters and I recall my grandmother washing the front doorstep with Lifebuoy soap and my grandfather leaning on his shepherd's crook in the farmyard smoking his pipe. My mother and uncle have memories that go even further back, to cart horses in the stables and taking afternoon tea with their great-aunts on the main lawn.

I grew up watching my uncle, Raymond Treasure, and his partner, Gordon Fenn, create Stockton Bury Gardens in the early 1980s. Each time my sisters and I returned to see our grandparents, who lived in the main house, there was a little more horticultural magic. These two remarkable gardeners, dreamers, builders and plantsmen deserve my sincere thanks for allowing me to join them in their garden. I could never claim this garden as my own - it will forever be their creation. All I can hope to do is help to look after it and continue to learn from them.

I have written this book as an enthusiastic gardener for fellow enthusiasts and the aim is to jog memories, share plant stories and make you smile. You'll find my personal diary of gardening along with my favourite seasonal plants and timely reminders of things you might want to tackle each month. I also hope that this book will serve up a little insight into rural life to those who have not had the pleasure of working in a country garden. It can be quite the culture shock if you're used to parks and city backyards!