As you know, I’m a bit of a Twitter addict. And yes, I know a lot of people just don’t get Twitter, but I’ve made some amazing connections on there (I hesitate to say friendships, as I suppose that’s not possible with someone you’ve never actually met). One such person is the utterly gorgeous and adorable Laetitia Maklouf. We discovered a shared love of garden-pottering and cooking when I was back in Ireland, and she’s always available with wonderful advice and gentle, kind encouragement for us enthusiastic but basically clueless gardeners.
Laetitia was kind enough to send me a review copy of her new book, Sweet Peas for Summer. It basically chronicles the year she spent creating a garden from scratch in her new home. As the year unfolds, Laetitia takes us, month by month, from the planning, initial groundwork and planting, through to lush pictures of a flower-filled summer garden which looks like it’s been there for years.
Laetitia’s writing style is similar to her Twitter feed: it’s gentle encouragement and wonderful advice. There are no barked orders or must dos in this book, just really useful knowledge sharing (and the odd admission of mistakes, which I love and find stupidly encouraging). The pictures are stunning and the overall styling is wonderful (I find this so important) – I love the leaf-prints punctuating the pages. All in all it has a lovely, fresh feel.
I miss my lovely Irish garden and gathering fresh vegetables and herbs from my raised veggie bed, but this book has made me see that I can do just as much now on my small patio with lots of containers: I can fill my little garden with wigwams of sweet peas and clematis, grow lovage and dill in pots (there are some beautiful, simple recipes), and make sure I have mint on my kitchen windowsill for fabulous mojitos too.
I inhaled the book on one Saturday morning, perched in bed with endless mugs of tea, my notebook and even the belligerent cat (just shows how still I must have been). I now have plans for hanging baskets, herbs and copious containers. Now all I’ve got to do is wait for this stupid snow to disappear.
Sweetpeas for Summer: How to Create a Garden in a Year by Laetitia Maklouf is out on 23rd March 2012. I know you’ll love it as much as I do.