4.30pm : Alice Vincent & Sue Stuart-Smith

Saturday 17th 4.30pm

Gardening for the Soul – A Conversation

Rootbound, Rewilding a Life AND The Well Gardened Mind, Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World

Text Box: ‘Reading this book is like breathing fresh spring air. Rootbound is achingly honest and earthily good, a beautiful hymn to wild hope, strength and tenderness, in nature and in ourselves. I loved it’
CHARLOTTE RUNCIE, author of SALT ON YOUR TONGUE

Blending memoir, horticulture and history, Rootbound explores how a whole new generation are discovering the power of plants

When she was a girl, Alice Vincent loved her grandfather’s garden – the freedom, the calm, the beauty of it. Twenty years later, living in a tiny flat in South London, that childhood in the garden feels like a dream.

When she suddenly finds herself uprooted, heartbroken, living out of a suitcase and yearning for the comfort of home, Alice starts to plant seeds. She nurtures pot plants and vines on windowsills and draining boards, filling every new space with green, and with each unfurling petal and budding leaf, she begins to come back to life.

Mixing memoir, botanical history and biography, Rootbound examines how bringing a little bit of the outside in can help us find our feet in a world spinning far too fast.

  • Alice Vincent writes a weekly urban gardening column for The Telegraph. She is considered an expert in the millennial fascination with gardening and plants and has developed a considerable following and reputation for her fresh take on horticulture.
  • She is also the creator of Noughticulture, a newsletter and Instagram account with over 20K followers.
  • Rootbound will appeal to fans of Olivia Laing, Amy Liptrot and Alys Fowler.

Alice Vincent is Associate Culture Editor on the arts desk of The Telegraph, where she has worked since 2013. After teaching herself to garden in 2014, Alice started to share her adventures in urban gardening through Noughticulture, a newsletter and Instagram account, as well as in a column for The Telegraph. She has since written for Gardener’s World and Gardens Illustrated, appeared on Gardeners’ Question Time, collaborated with Hunter, Finery, Monsoon and Seedlip, among others, and hosts workshops and a YouTube channel for Patch Plants. Her first book, How To Grow Stuff, was published in 2017.

‘Unrestrained, exuberant, vigorous, forthright . . . a tender and wholehearted story of re-finding that most precious resource, the space to grow’ – HELEN JUKES, author of A HONEYBEE HEART HAS FIVE OPENINGS

‘As much a green prescription for a richer, more connected life as a beautiful story of hope. Rootbound captures our universal need for nature, freedom and replenishment, away from the manmade, rushed woes of modern living . . . a valuable reminder to us all, that couldn’t come at a better time’ – SARAH IVENS, author of FOREST THERAPY

Rootbound is a fascinating insight into the outlook of the millennial generation, who have grown up online, with their private lives made public on Instagram and everything seeming too competitive and fast. The certainty and unhurriedness of the processes of plants seems all the more grounding and necessary by contrast. I loved this book’ – JULIET STIBBE, author of the Wainwright Prize-shortlisted THE EASTERNMOST HOUSE

‘A beautiful, lyrical story of personal healing that deftly interweaves botanical history and lore and highlights the importance of urban green spaces in an increasingly disconnected world. Rootbound is like a millennial The Secret Garden. I absolutely loved it!’ – KAYTE NUNN, author of THE BOTANIST’S DAUGHTER


The Well Gardened Mind, Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World

The Well Gardened Mind investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years – working with nature can radically transform our health, wellbeing and confidence. Sue Stuart-Smith tells inspirational stories of people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction who have benefited from the transformative power of gardens and gardening. Using science, insight and anecdotes, she shows how our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is only just beginning to flower.

The wisest book I’ve read for many years… Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to mental health …. Hugely recommended.    Stephen Fry

An important and timely book …… Beautifully written, drawing on a lifetime’s experience as both a clinician and a gardener, and I urge everyone to read it.    Monty Don

Sue Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University before qualifying as a doctor and working in the National Health Service for many years.  She currently teaches at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London and is a consultant at DocHealth, a not-for-profit psychotherapeutic consultation service for doctors. She is married to the celebrated garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith and together they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire.

Alice & Sue will be in conversation with journalist Alex Preston