a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

The Garden Jungle


Bumble on dead nettle

The Garden Jungle is not a reflection on my garden it is the new book by Dave Goulson.  Or rather the full title is The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet.

There is so much information presented in such a stimulating style that I recommend it for all gardeners everywhere.

Brown-banded bumble bee

Dave Goulson is a university professor, author of several best selling books and a keen amateur gardener.

Bombus praetorum.30.4.13

In addition, in 2006 he founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust which has had a tremendous impact on raising the awareness of the decline in Bumblebees in the U.K. in the past eighty years.  The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has spearheaded many successful projects in the U.K. and involves and encourages the public to become part of the conservation effort.

In fact, if each time you access Amazon through this link the association will receive a donation from Amazon on qualifying purchases (they raised £3,500 last year in this way.)

Bumble on Echinacae

So the bumblebee theme is in honour of Dave Goulson and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and also to recommend his new book as a great read.  However, the book is not just about bumblebees but concerns all of the natural life that you find in the garden.

Although written with his gardens in the U.K. and France in the background, his writing resonates across the continents.

Bumble on Sedum

I’ve read a lot of books about gardening for nature but this is definitely heads and shoulders above anything else I have read.

Anyone who has already read his other books will be familiar with his light-hearted, easy to read style but for those who have not read his other books, I also wanted to point out his credentials as a seriously well-informed writer.

Bumble Bramble pollen.jpg

This time I decided to go for the Kindle edition but I think I will also buy a paper copy.  It is a book that I know I will want to refer to and although the Kindle version does have an index it is rather that I am personally more adapt at the “flick” method when I want to retrieve information from a paper book.  I must get used to using the highlighters but until now I have reserved my Kindle purchases to light reading for beach or while travelling.

Clover pollen

I hope you enjoy reading this book wherever you are and whether you have a postage stamp size garden or a huge spread or whether your garden is still in your dreams.






Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

10 thoughts on “The Garden Jungle

  1. Love his books. I wrote to him a few years back as we had spotted probably one of the first reintroduced bees to The Thames Estuary that had effectively become borderline extinct. Lovely guy.


  2. I will look it up on Amazon

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve just finished reading his book – what he says chimes so well with what I have been telling people, which is always a relief!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. He is a wonderful author… and I have just ordered the book via Amazon, via your link.
    Is that link:
    “In fact, if each time you access Amazon through this link the association will receive a donation from Amazon on qualifying purchases (they raised £3,500 last year in this way.)”
    …specific to this book, or to any purchase?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The link works for Amazon UK and is not just for books. It has been in operation for a number of years now. It is not pushed heavily by the BB Association and it is difficult to find on their “how you can help” page. We often order through Amazon UK, as even including the postage, the prices are reasonable and the goods are frequently different and not offered on Amazon France. I think you will find the book very interesting, particularly his personal anecdotes. Amelia


  5. Thanks for the recommendation. I have read and enjoyed his other three books.
    I am sorry but I cant let this go without a comment about Amazon. They have had a very detrimental effect on independent bookshops in the UK so I try to avoid them where possible. That’s my personal opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you have mentioned that. It is often difficult to see the other side of the coin. They are so useful to us living here in France that I must admit that I have given little thought to their effect in the U.K. I must also admit to being out of touch with life in the U.K. I do know that the town centres are being emptied by the impersonal huge shopping malls out of town with lots of free easy parking. We are all attracted to what is easier for us in life. It has lead me to reflect on all the small changes in simply living since I was a child. I am talking about coal fires over central heating, washing machines,cars…right down to dishwashers and coffee machines that need plastic capsules. Such a lot has changed so insidiously that I have not even realised that so many of the small “labours” that I would consider normal would not be acceptable to my grandchildren. Amelia


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