Our gardens have an ecology, a web of life as rich and remarkable as any distant rainforest, or any biome display. Yet most of us have little idea of the marvels just outside our windows. Life is resilient, it regenerates everywhere we look; in the treetops you glimpse beyond the industrial estate, on the railway sidings, on rooftops, and even in the cracks in pavements. From our own doorsteps, we are surrounded by the wonders of nature and these can be a lifeline for us and vital to our health and sanity.
Within A Wonder in the Garden Tony Kendle unveils the facts behind these natural wonders, drawing from his vast knowledge and experience gained working closely within the Eden Project both in Cornwall and overseas.
Following school, and against the advice of his teachers, Tony Kendle went to work in his local parks department undertaking a wide range of gardening jobs. The bug for growing led to his studying for a BSc in Horticulture at the University of Bath, where he was taught by Peter Thoday, the presenter of The Victorian Kitchen Garden on the BBC and a pioneer of using horticulture for health and well-being.
From Bath, he began research in Liverpool on ecology and restoring derelict mines under Professor Tony Bradshaw, who had developed techniques for greening the china clay wastes of mid-Cornwall. At this time Peter Thoday was now working with Tim Smit on the restoration of the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the pair were embarking on a project to utilise a disused china clay pit at St. Austell, which would become the Eden Project. Tony Kendle was brought into the venture to help the team who were devising the planting plans along with the education and science plans and, incredibly, was given the task to convert the spoil into soil that could grow a ‘garden of wonder’.
As Eden’s visitor numbers increased and it gained its international reputation, Tony hosted many experts and gave presentations across the world, with particular engagement in Japan and Australia. Now working for Eden’s new company, Eden Project International, Tony helps with developments across the UK and overseas.
"Enjoy this delicious and important book, and keep it on your bedside table as you would a spiritual work."
– Tim Smit, Eden Project & Heligan founder
"This beautifully written book is a love letter [...] to our place in nature, and its place in us."
– Professor Ash Amin, Dept of Geography, Cambridge University
"If nature has been a joy to you during lock- down, you will love this book as I did."
– Helen Ekvall, Gothenburg Botanical Gardens
"Tony Kendle has artfully condensed a vast amount of research and information into his text while maintaining a light and accessible style from start to finish."
– Alasdair Moore, Heligan Head Gardener
"[...] his writing is a reverie of kindness and care, which reveals the joyous link between people and plants."
– Richard Scott of the National Wildflower Centre