Now that we’ve turned the clocks back and winter is drawing in, I thought we should turn our attention to things that we can do when the weather is inclement and the last thing we fancy is heading outdoors into the garden. After all, when it’s wet and muddy, the last thing we want to do is don the gardening gloves when we can instead, curl up on the sofa by the log burner with a nice cuppa tea, a good book and a wet dog by our feet. Bliss.

Penelope Lively is an award winning author and Booker Prize winner, not to mention Carnegie Medal and Whitbread Awards too. Her name is synonymous with children’s fiction and now, she has turned her literary talents to the gardening world with the release of her latest book, Life in the Garden.

A keen gardener, the author says  “The two central activities in my life – alongside writing – have been reading and gardening”. Set in the large garden of her childhood in Cairo, her grandmother’s garden on a sloping Somerset field and then her own Oxfordshire gardens and the small urban plot she has today in North London, the book is both a memoir of Lively’s own life in gardens, and a wise, engaging exploration of gardens in literature.

Out on November 2nd, it’s available to pre-order now – if there’s a green fingered member of your tribe, they would no doubt love this in their Christmas stocking.

Penelope Lively, Life in the Garden book