A Fenland Garden

Francis Pryor


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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
4 July 2024
ISBN: 9781801101615
352 pages

From the publisher

The story of how Francis Pryor created a haven for people, plants and wildlife in a remote corner of the fens.

In 1992, the archaeologists Francis and Maisie Pryor acquired a large field in a remote corner of the Lincolnshire fens. The soil was exhausted by half a century of intensive cultivation; yet within a few years, Francis and Maisie would build a home here, and transform an arable desert into a haven for plants, people and wildlife. Taking their inspiration from different elements of the English gardening tradition, they set about creating a garden that was ambitious in scope but human in scale.

A Fenland Garden is shot through with the empirical wisdom of a writer with a special relationship with landscape and the soil. Francis's account of the garden at Inley Drove is counterpointed by nuggets of fenland lore, by walks in the woods with the dogs Pen and Baldwin, and by vignettes of the plantsman's trials and tribulations. Above all, this is the story of bringing something beautiful into being, of embedding a garden in its local landscape, and reclaiming for nature a small patch of English ground.