Ursula Buchan 17 November 2018 9:00 AM 17 November 2018 9:00 AM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp There are probably no more gifted professional gardeners in England than Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, husband and wife and joint head gardeners at West Dean in Sussex. On the verge of their retirement, after 27 years of effecting a renaissance in the gardens and grounds of this country house arts centre (bequeathed by Edward James), the couple have described their work and achievements in At West Dean: The Creation of an Exemplary Garden (White Lion, £40). The lucid, educated text, written by Jim and overseen by Sarah, is, mercifully, no empty exercise in heart-tugging nostalgia but an unsentimental account of hard-won practical experience in a multi-faceted, forward-looking horticultural enterprise, where precise care, elevated standards, close teamwork, attention to aesthetics and grindingly hard work have combined to make West Dean a potent lure to paying visitors. The demonstration of long-established, exquisite skills — particularly in glasshouse and orchard — practically brings tears to the eyes of a trained gardener like me. (How I should love to have worked at West Dean.) Moreover, this book presents a touching, because thoroughly understated, picture of… Read full this story
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