Book Review: The Crafted Garden – Louise Curley

Oh the rain! We have been inundated here it seems, over the last 3 or 4 days, and I have stared dolefully out of the window at the lush growth  outside, knowing that the are plums, courgettes and beans to pick, lawns to mow and weeds to hoe, but it’s too wet for me to get out. It has been rather disheartening, which is why it is such a pleasure to turn to a lovely book like The Crafted Garden to remind me why I love my little plot of land. DSCF1966

Louise Curley (the author of The Cut Flower Patch) has created a book that is full to the brim with lovely ideas for projects to make, flowers to grow, plants to forage so that you can bring all the beauties of your garden and the natural world into your home.

Not familiar with Curley’s style, before I received the book, I was a little wary because I wondered if it would be full of the kind of floristry projects that I would never attempt in a million years, first because of my skill levels, and second because I prefer my flowers arranged naturally. But my mind was soon put at rest – all the projects (and there’s a lot more than flower arranging!) are simple, stylish and enhance the natural beauty of the elements used to create them. The emphasis is on colour, shape, fragrance and, very importantly, sustainability:


As you can see, there are are lovely detailed  instructions about how to put the projects together – with helpful photographs where they are needed:





As well as the lovely projects, there’s an awful lot of information on the best plants to grow for cut flowers and natural craft projects. If like me, you are fairly new to gardening, this is invaluable information and almost worth buying the book for that alone. Because I am a huge fan of succulents, I was glad to see all the advice about how to grow and propagate them, and how to use them too:


I have always had an ambition to create an auricula theatre (like this little beauty), but lacked the time and determination to get going with it. This adaptation is a wonderful alternative using alpines:


And it feels like something I could put together in no time next spring – I can’t wait to have a go! And that’s one of the real positives about this book – everything feels really achievable, and is lovely and stylish, without being fussy and off-putting.

The book is sensibly organised so that the projects are arranged by season, and Curley encourages us to get out into the garden, and further afield (there’s some great practical and ethical advice about foraging) throughout the year, with an eye to our physical and mental health, as well as for the benefit of our homes and gardens. These Christmassy projects will definitely tempt me on a winter walk:DSCF1988 DSCF1982

This is a beautiful book (thanks also to the lovely photographs by Jason Ingram), with so much to enjoy, learn and have fun with, I really recommended it.


To order The Crafted Garden by Louise Curley at the discounted price of £13.99 including p&p* (RRP: £16.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG355. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas. The Crafted Garden officially releases on 3rd September and is published by Frances Lincoln.


(Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of this lovely book for review).


6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Crafted Garden – Louise Curley

  1. Being married to the author I actually took some of the photos in this book (the ones that weren’t Jasons). I’m really glad you loved it. She knew that there would be no point putting in projects that were unachievable to do or so much of a faff that no one would bother to do. She also really wanted the sustainability and the horticulture to shine through. If you haven’t already do check out her first book The Cut Flower Patch which featured Jason’s images too.

  2. Just opened the ipad to this mail.This book is going on my Christmas List, sounds like me, I have a hers of wild garden, set in a forest, but very stony and very very green, crying out for colour!xxx

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