(London, Channel 4 Books, 2000)
In Lost Gardens, we tread back in time to discover and recreate eight gardens – now forgotten and overgrown – as they would have been in their heyday.
Each of these gardens offers a unique spyhole into the past, and each has a story to tell about the people who lived there and the kind of lives they led. Unravelling the threads of history calls for rigorous detective work, not just from garden historians but from social historians, too. A teasing trail of clues leads from humps and bumps in the ground to old maps and a nursery list discovered in an attic. Armed with little more than a map reference, Monty Don and his team set out to untangle the mysteries that surround each of these lost gardens and bring them gloriously back to life.
The book is lavishly illustrated with Andrea Jones’ vibrant photography, which gives the past new life, aided by contemporary photographs, old maps and detailed restoration plans. Jennifer Potter brings a novelist’s eye to the romance of rediscovering these eight lost gardens, filmed for Channel 4 by Flashback Television.
‘Lost Gardens offers us the excitement of “forensic horticulture”, bringing evidence from all sources to show what these forgotten gardens once looked like and what they might become again.’