Seeing gardening as a serious and even outrageous art form has placed Anne Wareham well outside of what usually passes for discussion of gardens. Impatient with received ideas, eager to provoke, The Bad-Tempered Gardener is the story of her development as a thinking gardener and the creation with her husband, Charles Hawes, of their acclaimed garden in the Welsh borders, the Veddw. From the strange (plant obsessives, a bizarre debut as a television presenter) to the everyday (deadheading, sharing a garden), with frequent paeans to favourite plants and thoughtful pieces on show gardens and status, this is an intelligent, pugnacious and engaging book. It also unflinchingly conveys the challenges, the hard work, triumphs and failures behind the creation and development of a substantial contemporary garden.
Anne Wareham has been living and gardening in the Welsh borders with her husband Charles Hawes for over thirty years. She has written occasional pieces for the Financial Times on gardens since 1998 and accompanying articles to Charles Hawes' photographs in magazines such as The English Garden and Gardens Illustrated. She contributed a chapter to the Frances Lincoln book Vista and is a founder member of thinkingardens, set up with the support of the RHS to encourage and develop a broader, more enquiring attitude to gardens. Charles Hawes' photographs of gardens regularly appear in the best gardening magazines. He has won several prizes in the annual RHS open photography competition, and was an exhibiting finalist in the 2008 International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition. He supplied all the photographs in Stephen Anderton's recent book Discovering Welsh Gardens, shortlisted for a 2009 Garden Media Guild award.