The Bad Tempered Gardener: Book Review (ish)

Anne Wareham discusses The Bad Tempered Gardener with James Alexander-Sinclair at this year's Malvern Spring Garden Show

When I found out the title of Anne Wareham's book The Bad Tempered Gardener, I was rather worried. Not about the content per se, but whether potential readers wouldn't get the joke (a play on Christopher Lloyd's well known work, The Well Tempered Garden), and would be rather put off by it.

However, judging by the extensive coverage Anne has received from the gardening press she often criticises; the number of bloggers who've posted a review; and its sales ratings on Amazon, my worries were quite unfounded. Anne must be delighted with her book's reception.

This left me with a dilemma as there really isn't much more I can add. So I've been putting off my review for months now, especially as all the bloggers (from both sides of the pond) have put it so much better than I can (if you google the book's title, you'll find them all listed for your delectation).

I was struck how the content is like the article anthologies some of Anne's colleagues have published after years of sterling service, except she's managed to cut out 'the middle man' (the publication) and gone straight to the book. And whilst she portrays herself as a lone alternative voice in the garden writing world, I wonder (ironically), how many of her readers will now put her firmly alongside those she strives to stand apart from, simply because she's had a book published.

So... read the book and judge for yourself.


  1. Thank you for this - like you, I was rather put off by the title. Gardeners, I feel are some of the most generously spirited people that I know, giving with a completely open hand. Some cooks, for instance, will give you a recipe but will omit one vital ingredient so that it will never work for you!

    So with your kinds words ringing in my ear, I will sally forth and pick this book up, safe in the knowledge that it is not a aunt sally rant on those that I would prefer to see as the gentle creatures they are!

  2. "Safe in the knowledge it is not an aunt Sally rant"

    I wouldn't bet on that Auntie Planty... Be afraid.... Be very afraid...

  3. 'All the bloggers'?
    This one hasn't reviewed it.
    Will remedy that when have more time.
    Judging by the skim tho it deserves more space than this! :-)
    Best to you VP

  4. BTW despite labelling herself 'bad tempered' when I cautiously thanked her for adding me on LinkedIn - she came back good tempered ;~)

  5. Auntie Planty - hello and welcome! Let's compare notes when you've read it...

    Arabella - tee hee our convo' on Thursday finally goaded me into writing this :)

    Robert - admittedly it's a very non-review and I almost didn't hit the Publish button. But honestly everything's been said already. It looks like you're another person to compare notes with later...

    EE - I can believe that!

  6. Update - got lambasted by Ann's husband on Twitter at the time for the lack of the review. Well that's too bad Charles.


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