Jane Shaw

Jane Shaw left school to work in a number of jobs, including darkroom assistant and a brief stint in The Royal Navy. She graduated as a graphic designer and worked as a runner/driver on a TV set before enjoying employment as a bookseller on Charing Cross Road. At the weekends she volunteered with BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and, hooked by the horticultural bug, enrolled on a gardening course. She volunteered at Chelsea Physic Garden, worked in Hyde Park and completed a three-month internship at Kew before jetting off to Greece and experiencing the unique gardening internship chronicled in Talking to Zeus. She is in her early thirties and continues to work as a gardener.

Books by this Author

Jane Shaw was working as a volunteer in Chelsea's famous Physic Garden when she earned a placement to work for a year on a very special organic garden in Greece. But this was to be no easy-going break in the Mediterranean. Nicknamed 'Alcatraz' by the outgoing assistant, the five-acre plot was devoid of creature comforts, perched on a steep, remote hillside that was blindingly hot in summer and freezing in winter, and overseen by a 74-year-old, passionate, mercurial eccentric English lady called...

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Chin up.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. To sing like Billie Holiday, or the ability to fly.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. Moses. I would explain what a television is then ask him if he could arrange 'an audience with god'. Beamed all over the world, each country would be alloted ten questions. Feedback and clapping would be allowed.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Talking to Zeus. He's nice.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Finding contentment in the present; a cup of tea, a smile from a stranger, the scents from a garden...fish and chips...

Author Voices

June 02, 2010

Talking to Zeus's 'release date' fell during the week of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and rather than sneak copies of TTZ into shop window displays I was glued to the box and this year's horticultural shenanigans.
While trying not to be too bitter about missing out on a coveted ticket I soon found a vicarious pleasure in watching the highs and lows of prize-giving morning. For some gardening designers it's obvious that receiving a silver medal is no more a reward than having a bagful of aphids tipped over their head. Only gold will do. But being a polite lot they soon bucked up. No doubt they'll be back next year, gold medal winners, swinging from... see more


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