La Chaire sits in a sleepy valley on the North East coast of Jersey, in the Channel Islands. Its significance in the history of gardens and gardening cannot be understated, exceeding most its contemporaries. From its origin, as a place of scientific and horticultural investigation, helping to fuel the resurrection of Kew under Sir John Hooker, La Chaire became one of the most sought-after gardens in Europe, bringing people to Jersey so that they could boast that they had promenaded along its magnificent floral avenues. Its conception and subsequent development trace the beginning of modern gardening as we know it. So why is the garden now devoid of visitors and vistas alike? Who brought about its ruin when everyone associated with the garden had worked tirelessly to maintain its splendour? The story that is La Chaire is one of four lives separated by over one hundred years of history, four individuals connected by a single garden. For each of them the garden was a place of refuge from the demands of an unforgiving society. For each of them the garden was a source of inspiration through which they gained strength to face a hostile world. By each of them the destiny of the garden was shaped. “The book is a delight for both gardeners and those who like historical fiction. It also contains an element of the whodunnit novel.”


“For anyone interested in gardening, specifically the history of gardening this book is a delight. Tracing the development of a garden on the island of Jersey from letters and diaries in the family’s possession and interweaving it with the human story. This is a fascinating account.” (Bill) *****

“A nice imagining of what may have happened in this magical location.” Amazon Customer *****

“For anyone interested in gardens, gardening and the history of gardens this book is a surprise and a delight. It is based on diaries and letters in the possession of the author’s family and tells the story of the creation of a garden in Jersey. Interwoven with this is the story of the people who created the garden, tended it, and were comforted and inspired by it. A delight.” (Marian) *****