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Glorious Gardening Books

In honour of World Garden Day on 14 April, we have put together a list of the new and upcoming books on gardening. Ranging from artistic to environmental to educational, these books are bound to grow your interest in gardening.

A Garden a Day by Ruth Chivers

An exploration of gardens through the ages and across the globe in 366 daily entries, from the ancient hanging gardens of Babylon to a vegetable plot on the International Space Station. In this fascinating and beautifully illustrated collection, garden writer Ruth Chivers presents a garden for every day of the year. It’s a sumptuous journey through garden history, design, horticulture, literary inspiration, folklore and poetry. From Sissinghurst to Versailles, from the medieval poem ‘The Romance of the Rose’ to the latest horticultural details of a rewilded garden, from imaginary gardens in literature to the real gardens that inspired Van Gogh and Orwell, here are absorbing garden stories for the whole year.

The Accidental Garden by Richard Mabey

We regard gardens as our personal dominions, where we can create whatever worlds we desire. But they are also occupied by myriads of other organisms, all with their own lives to lead. The conflict between these two power bases, Richard Mabey suggests, is a microcosm of what is happening in the larger world. In this provocative book, rooted in the daily dramas of his own Norfolk garden, Mabey offers a different scenario, where nature becomes an equal partner, a ‘gardener’ itself. Against a background of disordered seasons he watches his ‘accidental’ garden reorganising itself. Ants sow cowslip seeds in the parched grass. Moorhens take to nesting in trees. A spectacular self-seeded rose springs up in the gravel. The garden becomes a place of cultural and ecological fusion, and perhaps a metaphor for the troubled planet. This is vintage Mabey, maverick, intensely observed, and written with an unquenchable sense of wonder.

The Container Garden Recipe Book by Lana Williams

Over 50 step-by-step recipes for stunning outdoor planters of all shapes and sizes, in Artisan’s bestselling flower recipe book format.

We’re taking the Recipe Book series outside! In the Container Garden Recipe Book, Lana Williams of the Oakland-based Tender Gardener offers readers dozens of step-by-step recipes for lush outdoor planters, from classic terra-cotta pots to window boxes, urns, bowls, and more. There are recipes specifically designed to adorn your porch or patio (a rustic birdcage-cum-hanging basket, a stately Japanese maple planted in a painted terra-cotta urn) and others that are perfect for backyard entertaining (an elegant tabletop trough of succulents, a concrete water garden that’s sure to be a conversation starter).

A Flower Garden for Pollinators by Rachel de Thame

With bees, butterflies and other pollinators threatened by climate change and habit loss, it’s now more important than ever to support and nurture pollinators in your garden. In this practical and beautiful guide, expert horticulturalist and regular Gardener’s World presenter Rachel de Thame shows you how to create a garden that provides an abundant resource of plants rich in nectar and pollen. Arranged by season and illustrated with exquisite hand-painted watercolours and glorious photography, this book provides a captivating look at supporting nature. Whether you have a courtyard garden or a large country garden, A Flower Garden for Pollinators will tell you what to plant and when in order to attract and sustain a host of pollinators all year round.

Garden Heaven (National Trust) by Vanessa Berridge

A beautiful tour of Britain’s greatest gardens, classic and modern. Inspiration and escapism for every gardener.

A unique tour of thirty of Britain’s most beautiful gardens, classic and modern. A great gift for gardeners on their days off or during the long winter nights – because gardening is as much about dreaming as doing. Packed with photographs, many specially commissioned, and evocative and entertaining text telling the stories of the gardens and the people who created them. The gardens range from legendary romantic gardens like Sissinghurst and Great Dixter to dramatic locations like Bodnant and Overbecks. There are intimate, historic walled gardens too, as well as gardens that point to the future, like Wildside, which works in harmony with nature. The book includes information on visiting all the gardens, and suggestions for the best times of year.

The Healing Home and Garden by Paula Robinson & Sonia Choquette

Are you tired of formulaic interiors and following trends? Do you long for a home that expresses who you truly are, that’s a sanctuary from our 24/7 lifestyles dominated by technology?
The Healing Home & Garden will help you to:

  • Take an objective look at your home
  • Examine whether it’s supporting your mental and physical wellbeing
  • Identify how it may be perpetuating unhealthy habits like: working all hours, eating on the run, poor sleep and spending too much time indoors
  • Tap into your intuition to create a healing environment that will ultimately make you happier, less stressed and healthier
  • Reconnect with the restorative power of nature

With insights from world-renowned intuition coach and best-selling author, Sonia Choquette, this book is full of budget tips for rethinking your living space, creative suggestions for re-purposing furniture and objects, and extensive product and book recommendations.

Interior Garden

At the onset of WWII, the visionary Dada artist Hannah Höch retreated to a secluded house on the outskirts of Berlin, fleeing persecution for her radical collage work and her unflagging opposition to fascism. In the decades that followed, the surrounding garden became her artistic muse, but it was also a means of survival: its fruits and vegetables were a vital source of sustenance during wartime, and its soil served as the hiding place for her priceless collection of Dada artworks. Eighty years later, this richly illustrated yet deeply researched book reimagines Höch’s garden from an artist’s perspective. It brings together Höch’s botanical collages and garden photographs with deep archival cuts exploring her queer history with Til Brugman; new art by the artists Scott Roben and Johanna Tiedtke, based on visits to Höch’s garden; and an essay by the writer Alhena Katsof. Together, these elements interweave past and present, private and public, personal and political, offering new views into Höch’s lush refuge.

We Made A Garden by Margery Fish

This landmark work on creating a garden was first published in 1956 and has rarely been out of print since. We Made a Garden is the story of how Margery Fish, one of the leading British gardeners of the mid-20th century, and her husband Walter transformed an acre of wilderness into a stunning cottage garden, still open to the public at East Lambrook Manor, Somerset, England.

Quirky and readable, this book details her creation of a world-renowned cottage garden, as well as her battles with Walter in the process, who preferred the standard suburban approach. In this beautiful and timeless work, she recounts the trials and tribulations, the successes and failures of her venture with ease and humour. Topics covered are colourful and diverse, ranging from the most suitable hyssop for the terraced garden through composting, hedges and making paths to the best time to lift and replant tulip bulbs. This book has been hailed as everything from a blueprint for the creation of a modern cottage garden to a feminist manifesto, and the author’s practical knowledge, imaginative ideas and general good sense will encourage and inspire gardeners everywhere.

One Garden Against the World by Kate Bradbury

Five years after her first book, Kate Bradbury has a new, slightly bigger garden two miles away.
Kate’s garden hosts red mason bees, bumblebees, house sparrows and dragonflies. Hedgehogs, hoverflies and lots more birds regularly visit. The entire frog population of Brighton and Hove seem to breed in her small pond each spring. And now, toads are here, too. On summer evenings, Kate watches bats flit above her, and everything seems alright with the world for a moment. But she knows habitat loss remains a massive issue in gardens, the wider countryside, and worldwide, and there’s another, far bigger threat: climate change. Temperature increases are starting to bite, and she worries our wildlife will be unable to cope with the new normal. In her uplifting new book, Kate writes passionately about how her climate-change anxiety pushes her to look for positive ways to keep going in a changing world.

As in her first book, she invites you into her life, sharing stories of her mum’s ongoing recovery, old and new relationship drama, her intense love for her new rescue dog, and a few parties, festivals and hangovers are thrown into the mix. One Garden Against the World is a call to arms to all of us – gardeners, communities and individuals – to do more for wildlife and the climate. Climate change and biodiversity loss go hand in hand, but if we work together, it’s not too late to make a difference.

All The Presidents’ Gardens by Marta McDowell

Discover the rich history of the White House Grounds in this revised edition of a New York Times bestseller. Since 1800, the 18 acres surrounding the White House have been an unwitting witness to history. Kings and queens have dined there, bills and treaties have been signed, and presidents have landed and retreated. Through it all, the grounds have remained not only beautiful, but also a powerful reflection of American trends both horticultural and just plain cultural.

In All the Presidents’ Gardens, Marta McDowell reveals the untold history of the White House grounds through surprising presidential facts, historical and contemporary photographs, vintage seed catalogs, and rare glimpses into the lives of our leaders. History buffs will revel in the fascinating tidbits about Lincoln’s goats, Ike’s putting green, Jackie’s iconic roses, and Amy Carter’s tree house.

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