The Head Gardeners

Sorrel Everton finds a wealth of research has gone into this look at the 'forgotten heroes' behind of our most lavish gardens

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Reviewed by: Sorrel Everton
Author: Toby Musgrave
Publisher: Aurum Press
Price (RRP): £8.99 (paperback)

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Before the arrival of the 30-minute garden makeover, there were men who dedicated their whole lives to a single garden and in this well-researched book we are introduced to some of these committed figures.

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The head gardener was revered for his skill and dedication, the best sought out by wealthy landowners to create spectacular gardens that reflected their financial success. ‘Capability’ Brown planted the Great Vine at Hampton Court in 1768 while appointed to the royal household, while at Chatsworth, Joseph Paxton built the world’s largest glasshouse and the tallest gravity-fed fountain – as well as harvesting bananas, pineapples and some 2,000 Brussels sprouts in a season.