Book Review – Urban Flowers


Gardening seems to have become more popular and, dare I say it, even on-trend over the past few years. Certainly, people old and young are paying more attention to their health and so the vegetable side of growing has seen a spike. Ornamental gardening, meanwhile, has also piqued more interest, though I’m unsure whether that’s because it’s cooler with the younger generation, or that I’ve just hit that mid-thirties age-bracket where my friends are all settling down, having a few sprogs and, yes, turning their attention to their gardens. Regardless of the reason, I’ve certainly become aware of more people trying to handle their small, urban spaces and that’s why this book – URBAN FLOWERS – seems to be very right-now.



This is a bright, cheerful and colourful book. But don’t let that dazzle you because there’s some serious garden know-how here too. And, even better, there really is something for everyone.

Small gardens can be problematic. For amateur gardeners, there’s the pitfall of following the suburban norm…i.e. lawn surrounded by stupidly thin ‘flower beds’. And, that’s not a disparaging put-down; I too have been there. When you’re starting out, especially if you’ve inherited such a garden, what else do you do? With a couple of decades of gardening behind me, I would say, buy a book like this. Because it opens your eyes to what can be done with even the smallest, postage-stamp sized retreat.


A zingy autumn palette.

Find guidance with a range of styles.


URBAN FLOWERS starts out with a quick introduction to city gardens, what they can mean to you and how to go about assessing the space you have. It’s important to do that because (again, I’ve done this too) you’ll just buy all the things and shove them in all the places and then wonder why it hasn’t really worked. Then writer Carolyn Dunster moves onto more exciting things; pots, climbers, styles, maximising space, using nooks and crannies and, of course, the best bit – PLANTS.

There are some lovely colour palletes to get your going, moving through the seasons too so you don’t end up with a garden looking fabulous in spring and rather drab by August. There are some simple projects to enjoy and the book finishes by bringing all those lovely outside blooms into the house with flower arranging tips.


Hide those downpipes with this mini-project.


URBAN FLOWERS is a great book that’s welcome on any gardening shelf, but especially for those with a small garden or who may still be dreaming of having their outside space. Read, indulge and become inspired.

URBAN FLOWERS is available both in the US and UK on Amazon.

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.