National Trust gardeners are very much at the forefront of modern gardening techniques yet at the same time, use valuable traditional skills passed down through the generations. Interspersed throughout all the up-to-date gardening advice offered in this guide are tip boxes describing all the traditional skills that are used.
Head gardeners from world-famous gardens like Hidcote, Sissinghurst, and Stourhead all contribute. This comprehensive guide covers garden basics (soil type, aspect, weeding, digging, and what to grow where and when); design (styles, functional vs. aesthetics, landscaping, low maintenance gardening, container gardening, and a return to lost gardening styles and techniques); lawn care and lawn alternatives, gardening techniques and maintenance, crop rotation, growing and cooking food (fruit, vegetables, and herbs), greener gardening, and wildlife gardening—natural alternatives, how to encourage wildlife, how to deter pests without damaging the environment, beehives, and composting tips. Each chapter is packed with step-by-step guides to various techniques, handy hints from head gardeners, and "tales from the potting shed" that give historical context to the methods used by the gardeners.