Monty Don's bestselling gardening book Down to Earth is now available in paperback and as an audiobook, read by Monty himself. To celebrate, we're offering Subscriber Club members the chance to enjoy four exclusive audio clips from the book.

I have written many gardening books but this is the distillation of 50 years of gardening experience. It has all the tips and essential pieces of knowledge that enable you to make your garden grow well, and it also shares my view that gardening is the secret to living well too.
Monty Don

The four clips come from the chapter The Seasons:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter

Listen to all four clips, below.


Primula vulgaris
Primula vulgaris

For Monty, every moment of spring is precious. In this extract he stresses the importance of paying attention to "the feel of the earth", rather than the calendar, when choosing the best time to sow seeds or plant directly. He also shares a somewhat unorthodox method for testing the temperature of the soil...

As a rule, spring flowers are best grouped and bunched together to make a localised but powerful hit.

Listen to Monty's observations on the pleasures of spring:

More like this


Dahlia 'Roxy'
Dahlia 'Roxy'

Summer comprises two distinct phases, says Monty in this clip. He considers how this affects plants from the Northern hemisphere and more tender species, from closer to the equator.

Roses are their best, large-flowered clematis are glorious and plants like irises, foxgloves, alliums and lupins crown the borders.

Hear 'Summer', the second of four exclusive clips, now:


Freshly harvested apples wrapped in paper
Freshly harvested apples wrapped in paper

The gardening year "turns in on itself" on the autumn equinox, 23 September, says Monty in this third exclusive clip.

Autumn can be beautiful. It can be rich with colour and smoky light, and it can be full of flower and fruit, but autumn is always sad.

Find out what autumn means for Monty:


Red holly berries
Holly berries

In this fourth and final clip, Monty lists the benefits of winter cold and chill wind, as well as the hazards. He also reveals those plants that need a little cossetting during winter and offers tips on protecting their more tender neighbours.

A month of sustained cold in the garden does more to get rid of pests and diseases than a lorry load of chemicals could ever do.

Listen to Winter, from Monty's chapter on The Seasons, now:

Order your copy of Down to Earth

Buy Down to Earth paperback (includes new photography not included in the hardback edition)


Buy Down to Earth as an audiobook from Audible