Lotte is in unfamiliar territory. After a painful divorce and a great deal of soul-searching, she's abandoned her successful career as an architect for a degree in Garden History, and uprooted her three children to take a job as Head Gardener to millionaire Brody Keegan.
Brody is as ignorant about gardens as Lotte is knowledgeable, his tastes as loud as hers are quiet. The things they have in common are a passion for Maddon Park and a determination to get their own way.
As Lotte locks horns with her boss and his spoilt young wife, she finds herself on an emotional rollercoaster. She knows what is right for the garden, but -- still raw from divorce, anxious about the children and frightened of entanglement -- she has no idea what is right for her.
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Charlotte Warren, one-time architect and would-be horticulturalist and plantswoman, glanced at her watch as she approached the Maddon Park entrance. She was early. She drove slowly through the great stone pillars and pulled up at the start of the drive, out of sight of the house. It was twenty years since she’d presented herself to a prospective boss and she was as nervous now as she’d been then. More perhaps. She had to get this job.
She flapped the sun-visor down to check her face in the mirror. I’ll do, she thought. No spinach on the teeth anyway. She ran her comb through her short brown hair and took off her sun-glasses. Gardeners, she thought, don’t wear shades.
She looked down the drive, marvelling at its dereliction. It was almost bare of gravel and badly pot-holed, with grass and weeds growing in a patchy line down the middle. Either side of the drive, dead tree stumps three or four feet across testified to a once magnificent avenue of elms.
Some stumps were jagged, some sawn off like picnic tables, some now just weedy hummocks at ground level.
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The Garden is set in Maddon Park, historic manor house in Oxfordshire, now neglected with a lost garden. Once Maddon was a priory, then a hunting lodge, and its glory days were as a Georgian country seat. Jane sets out to discover Maddon's past, and finds and lot more than she bargained for, professionally, personally and emotionally.