I am in the Garden

by Shirley Greenhill is a visual delight matched by a narrative that engages the reader from the first page.

Shirley, well known in Stratford as an avid and talented gardener, has published a book in time for this year's garden festival.

The book is about Shirley's own life in gardening - from her first experiences as a child in the family garden, through to the gardens she has entered in the annual garden festival and the people she has met through a shared love of gardening.

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Shirley's book is more than just a collection of gardening memories however. It combines tales of her childhood with recipes, gardening tips and plenty of Stratford history.

The book is packed full of glorious, colourful and vibrant photographs that practically leap from the page and demand your attention.

The design of the book has really lifted it, with careful use of coloured font for titles matching colours from the photographs on specific pages.

Shirley is a natural storyteller - conversations with her ramble from topic to topic, always entertaining and always colourful, and this is reflected in the book.

From stories of naughty rabbits to her observations of a friendly blackbird family, Shirley takes her readers on a tour of her gardens, her friends and her life in a gentle yet engaging manner.

It feels less like you are reading a book and more like you are chatting with an old friend, as you wander through a scented garden.

Shirley's sense of humour shines through in the book, and her tales of mice being chased around empty swimming pools, naughty rabbits and untrainable dogs will make you smile.

The book is beautifully put together, and would make the perfect Christmas gift for anyone keen on gardening or for anyone who has lived in Stratford.

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The book is available from Paper Plus Stratford and Perera's Paper Power.