The Joy of Gardening

My new book, The Joy of Gardening (published by Allen & Unwin in November 2021) is a celebration of the healing power of nature. This beautiful 326-page hardback edition, exquisitely illustrated by renowned photographer, Sally Tagg, focuses on all the gentle delights that bring joy to our backyards, from birdsong to seasonal beauty.

Slowing down, letting go, working in harmony with nature and cherishing the accidental pleasures, from self-sown seedlings to bumblebees sleeping in our dahlia blooms at dusk: these are the things that make our hearts sing.

In The Joy of Gardening, I write about the way childhood memories and family traditions connect us to special plants and places, and the thrill of sharing a love of gardening with our friends and family. I share the latest research into why gardening makes us feel good, how it helps us to heal, and how both the act of gardening, and what we eat from our gardens, nourishes us in so many ways.

Too many people think of gardening as hard work, requiring an arsenal of ingredients - sprays, pest control, fertiliser, plants - plus expert skills and an exact recipe to follow. But as I get older, I think it's far more important to focus on the little things that lift our spirits in a garden, rather than fretting about creating a landscape that has to look good, feed your family, impress the neighbours, or increase your property value.

People often say tell me that they have "brown thumbs" and can't keep plants alive. But I kill things too. And I think we've forgotten that it doesn't matter what your garden ends up looking like, provided it makes you happy in some way.



I hope you cherish and treasure every word of The Joy of Gardening. It's my sixth book, and I'm utterly chuffed with it.

Look out for it in bookstores nationwide from early November 2021, or pre-order now from one of these great independent booksellers (buy local! support local!):

  • If you live in the upper North Island, order your copy here from The Women's Bookshop in Auckland. 
  • If you live in the lower North Island, order your copy here from Hedley's Books in Masterton. 
  • If you live in the South Island, order your copy here from Scorpio Books in Christchurch.

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