Five inspiring books on gardens | Gardening tips


Arthur Parkinson’s flowered courtyard

Written by the rosy-cheeked plantfluencer Sarah Raven, this book is a playful invitation to garden on a small scale. “It is an appeal against what small garden dysmorphia is, where gardens with lawns, sheds and even greenhouses are indeed called small,” Parkinson says in his introduction. HisParkinson Town Garden in Nottinghamshire is more accurately described as a ‘flamboyant and provocative’ brick path of pots. On these pages, Parkinson shares his flair for cramming them with color all year round, creating a garden of galvanized and terracotta pots teeming with purple blossoms of bronze, caramel, chocolate and beetroot. Hatchet, £ 22

Gardening for Bumblebees by Dave Goulson

Catch the Buzz: Gardening for Bumblebees.

“My professional interest in bees was born from lazily watching bumblebees visit comfrey flowers almost 30 years ago,” says Professor Dave Goulson. In this sequel to his best-selling natural science book, A prick in the tale, Goulson distils three decades of academic research into a book loaded with anecdotes on pollinator diversity, the causes of pollinator decline, and his favorite pastime: bee watching. The book encourages gardeners to create a haven for all garden pollinators, identifying the best trees, shrubs, and flowers to plant and suggesting how to create the perfect breeding sites for these adorable insects. Square dowel, £ 16.99

Grow and Reap: A Gardener’s Guide to a Year of Cut Flowers by Grace Alexander

Grace Alexander is a trained clinical psychologist and a cut flower seed trader. For Alexander, gardening is a means of escape, and this is precisely what his soft and atmospheric first book, Grow and come together, suggests the reader. From sowing in the spring to harvesting the seeds in the fall, the author encourages you to nurture your own patch of beauty, guiding you through the seasons with manageable to-do lists and practical tips. The lyrical journal entries and rich photograph of Alexander’s former sheep field underscore his loose, indulgent approach to gardening and his sense of color, texture and form. Hardie Grant, £ 20

The Naturally Beautiful Garden by Kathryn Bradley-Hole

For a book focusing on the principles of environmentally friendly garden design (conserving water, reducing chemicals, supporting wildlife), The naturally beautiful garden manages to keep it light with sumptuous photographs of over 30 gardens around the world. Each project – whether it’s a cactus garden on an ancient estate in Sicily or the sepia grasses of Bressingham in Norfolk in winter – shows how their creators have managed to work with, rather than against, nature. The book is organized into six chapters to show how each garden has adapted not only to its specific environment, but to meet various needs – from public shrines to vast country estates, to city courtyards. Rizzoli, £ 45

Bedside Companion for Gardeners by Jane McMorland Hunter

Described as “an anthology of garden writings for every night of the year,” it’s a perfect read under the covers for tired gardeners. It’s a free mix of facts, fiction, dreams and hard-earned experiences that combines poetry, prose, and advice from (ghosts) gardeners past and present. Compare the advice of Mrs Earle and Ethel Case on building a bird table, taken from their 1912 book, Gardening for the ignorant (“A long fir tree pole is the main thing needed …”) with the excerpt from the classic and influential book by Gertrude Jekyll from 1899, Wood and Garden (“There is always a day in February, at least, when one feels the summer still far away, but surely to come…”) and one gets an idea of ​​this pretty horticultural literature. Flag books, £ 20.


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