ISSUE 67  |  Bring on the Spring

Britain’s Can-Do Garden Guru

April 08, 2013 3:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

The basic (and compelling) idea underscoring British journalist Alys Fowler’s can-do gardening philosophy is that you can pretty much plant a garden anywhere—in boxes, or rusty tin cans even, if you don’t have any outdoor space—and see it flourish without spending a lot of money.

I think this is the main reason why her book Garden Anywhere, published in 2009, remains in print. And it’s reason enough. A former on-air presenter on the BBC’s long-running Gardeners’ World program, Fowler writes, “Gardening is something you do, not something you buy.”

Photographs via Garden Anywhere.

Above: Among the topics Fowler tackles is how to divide perennials, such as the “huge clump of day lilies” that she’s holding in this photo: “You can split an awful lot with a sharp spade,” she writes. “Just hack a section out, making sure you have buds, roots, and stems, and throw away any woody bits.”

Above: Along with an attitude of easy-going empowerment, the book offers basic gardening advice about everything from design—repeat color and form to “create movement and flow through the space”—to building your own compost bin. Garden Anywhere is $24.95 from Williams-Sonoma Agrarian.

Above: Fowler (L) with a few of her favorite tools: a narrow landscaping rake, a broad leaf rake, a fork, pruners, and a shovel. “Your most important tool is a good spade, preferably with a wooden handle and a stainless-steel head,” she writes.

This is an update of a post published November 26, 2012.