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My Garden, the City and Me: Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London

By Helen Babbs

Almost diary-like in style, this insightful book might inspire you to start a rooftop garden of your own.

American Gardener

Helen Babbs lives in a top-floor flat with a small roof space in north London. Inspired by a campaign to make the city greener she decides to transform her bare rooftop into a garden — an organic, wildlife-friendly, edible garden. A complete gardening novice, she embarks upon a year of planting and nature watching in the unlikeliest of places.

This book captures the pleasure to be derived from gardening against the odds in an urban landscape. The refreshing crunch of the first homegrown radish, the aroma of mint and cucumber in a glass of Pimm's as she surveys her plot, and the satisfaction of a lunchbox loaded with sweet cherry tomatoes are just causes for celebration. Soon Helen Babbs' first encounters with plants and creatures at home lead to further explorations of the city's natural world. As she watches hawks from the top of an office block, beachcombs beside the River Thames, and visits city orchards and wheat fields, we become aware of the unique ecology of London and the immense web of life that its green spaces support.

This heartwarming tale of a young city dweller's urge to reconnect with the natural world and contribute to the greening of her city is irresistible.

Media reviews

"Almost diary-like in style, this insightful book might inspire you to start a rooftop garden of your own."

American Gardener

About the author

Helen Babbs

Helen Babbs is a freelance journalist and writer in her mid-twenties. She has worked for the BBC, Associated Press, and Time Out, and is editor of the London Wildlife Trust's magazine, Wild London. She has a monthly nature notes column in Kitchen Garden magazine and blogs on their Web site about her roof garden, in addition to writing for Organic Garden and Home magazine.

Read more about Helen Babbs

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