The hillsides of Attica are stony and arid. Over-grazed in the past by goats and sheep, they have few trees and are covered in dense, prickly scrub. Relentless sun and often strong winds prevail for five months of the year, and in the spring and autumn months the miracle of the extraordinary variety and beauty of the Greek flora is revealed to the discerning eye.
It was on such a hillside that the English woman Jaqueline Tyrwhitt - Harvard University professor, town planner of international renown and amateur botanist - chose to make a garden. This book is the story of the making of that garden and a distillation of what she learnt and observed about the plants -both native and introduced- she grew there, a book which she wrote (to use her own words) "to assist other people wishing to make gardens in places with a "Mediterranean climate", believing that anything that grew under the difficult conditions prevailing on this Greek hillside would be almost certain to grow better elsewhere".