The Crafted Garden, published by Frances Lincoln, is a collection of creative projects designed around plants, foliage, sprigs and seeds gathered from the garden and hedgerow. Written by Louise Curley, author of the excellent wellywoman blog, and featuring sumptuous and instructive photography, it’s a book that makes it look easy for anyone to create any of the huge range of ideas throughout the 176 pages. So easy that we’re inspired to have a go at a few ourselves.
Divided by seasons, the book takes its cue from the beauty of nature, bringing to life traditional techniques such as flower pressing and wreath making in a modern context, as well as presenting new and unusual ideas for projects such as decorative dragonflies made from sycamore keys.
We’re reminded of the Victorian magic of terrariums – miniature gardens contained within a sealed glass jar that create their own mini eco system (one of my Kilner jars is already earmarked for that project); we’re shown how to make pots from hessian or twigs and bark, and vases from gourds or squashes; and there are floral decorations for all occasions, including some spectacular wreaths and delicate napkin rings (I’m even considering getting napkins just to have a dabble with this one).
What’s particularly impressive about Lousie’s approach is that she isn’t simply plundering the natural world to tart up an interior space, as happens in countless makeover shows and magazines. At heart she’s a gardener who is evidently at her happiest working with nature and by explaining her plant knowledge alongside the craftier tips we’re given a more through understanding of how to bring these projects to life. This allows anyone wishing to follow one of her projects the opportunity to customise it according to what they have at their disposal, and to use their own planting preferences, rather than simply trot out idenditkit designs.
The Crafted Garden is a beautifully presented, well thought out book, with enough ideas and advice to keep returning to it throughout the year.
To order The Crafted Garden by Louise Curley at the discounted price of £13.99 including p&p* (RRP: £16.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG355.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
Note: we were offered a review copy of this book by the publishers. We like Louise’s work so we gladly accepted