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Gardening Books

A special category dedicated to some of our favourite Gardening titles around at the moment.

Featured Books
A Little Piece of England A tale of self-sufficiency
John Jackson
First published in 1979, a welcome reissue of John Jackson’s description of life on a Kent small-holding. With his wife and three children (all more or less enthusiastic about the move), they buy a house high in the North Kent...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/04/2014

The Curious Gardener
Anna Pavord
I’m late writing this review, but I blame Anna Pavord; her wonderful prose, her wide range of garden related subjects, short independent pieces come together in one delightful whole and I am loath to finish it. As the garden year...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/09/2011

The Rain Tree
Mirabel Osler
I’ve hijacked this book for the Gardening section as I couldn’t bear to miss Mirabel Osler’s new book. She starts and ends with gardens and throughout plants, trees, fragrance and gardens are much in evidence so I feel I am...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/05/2011

The Morville Year
Katherine Swift
Devotees of The Morville Hours will need to be patient for the sequel, there is one coming but for now we have the bonus of The Morville Year, a collection of Katherine Swift’s columns from The Times. Taking us through...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/03/2011

Fragrant Plants
Lucy Summers
An ideal introduction to the delights of gardening for fragrance, I found this guide very useful as it gives suggestions for scented plants in every season even in the depths of winter there can be fragrance in the garden. It’s...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2011

Tim Smit
'With passion and commitment thousands of 'small' people built Eden as a symbol of hope in action...We may all have feet of clay, but that shouldn't stop us trying to make a difference...We say, 'Demand the impossible . So said...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2011

The RHS Allotment Handbook - The Expert Guide for Every Fruit and Veg Grower
Royal Horticultural Society
A really good guide to allotment basics - from first picking up your spade to harvesting your crops. Written in an encouraging style – the novice won’t feel overwhelmed by technical detail and should find plenty of inspiration in the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/03/2010

Spade as Mighty as the Sword The Story of World War Two's Dig for Victory Campaign
Daniel Smith
After food rationing was introduced in 1940, and German U-boats began threatening merchant shipping bringing in essential foodstuffs, the Ministry of Agriculture decided something had to be done to make the kitchens of Britain more self-sufficient. The result was one...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/07/2011

Highgrove A Garden Celebrated
Charles, Prince of Wales, Bunny Guinness
The gardens at Highgrove evoke intense emotion. In January, the dramatic light and early snowdrops of the Stumpery are exquisite; the glistening emerald lawns and tree blossoms in Spring lift the spirits with a promise of what is to come;...
Format: Hardback - Released: 10/04/2014

The Language of Flowers: A Miscellany
Mandy Kirkby, Vanessa Diffenbaugh
'A flower is not a flower alone; A thousand thoughts invest it' All over the world, flowers are an integral part of human culture whether it is the perfect table centre for a wedding, a beautiful bouquet for a birthday,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/10/2011

The Road to Le Tholonet A French Garden Journey
Monty Don
This is not a book about French Gardens. It is the story of a man travelling round France visiting a few selected French gardens on the way. Owners, intrigues, affairs, marriages, feuds, thwarted ambitions and desires, the largely unnamed ordinary...
Format: Paperback - Released: 27/03/2014

An Illustrated Country Year Nature Uncovered Month by Month
Celia Lewis
Informative and entertaining sections will enlighten you on the nature to be found every month, all illustrated in the author's beautiful watercolour and ink paintings. Discover what's flowering and what else you might come across on a country walk each...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/09/2013

My Secret Garden
Alan Titchmarsh
After moving from the Barleywood garden where he hosted BBC Gardeners' World for seven years, Alan Titchmarsh set up home in an old farmhouse a few miles down the road, and went about planting his own private eden away from...
Format: Hardback - Released: 25/10/2012

The Complete Countryman A User's Guide to Traditional Skills and Lost Crafts
Alan Titchmarsh
In this comprehensive and practical guide to the countryside, passionate and hugely knowledgeable countryman Alan Titchmarsh explores the heritage of rural Britain, its landscapes and wildlife, its traditions, customs and crafts. He'll look at the beauty of chalk downland, offer...
Format: Hardback - Released: 27/10/2011

Grow Your Food for Free (Well Almost)
Dave Hamilton
A natural boffin, Dave Hamilton’s cheery book is the outcome of his quest for free-as-possible food. And growing food the “free” way is good for your purse and good for the environment as you recycle, reuse, scrounge and make-do. Beside...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/05/2011

The Gardener's Year Made Easy
Ceri Thomas
Aimed at those looking to navigate the maze of gardening advice and sort out the imperative jobs from those that can wait, this guide is perfect for new gardeners or those looking to make their time in the garden really...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/03/2011

The Garden in the Clouds Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic
Antony Woodward
The son of two passionate gardeners, Antony Woodward was born with chlorophyll running through his veins. Unfortunately, growing up with Latin plant names took its toll, and he was ingrained early on with a profound loathing of both gardens and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 31/03/2011

The Grumpy Gardner's Handbook
Ivor Grump
Following in the curmudgeonly footsteps of The Grumpy Driver's and Golfers Handbooks, is a compilation of all things frustrating about maintaining the average domestic garden. Grump's attempts to improve his extra room outdoors are thwarted at every turn. His lawn...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/02/2011

The Garden to Kitchen Expert
D. G. Hessayon and Judith Wills
Nothing is more delicious than food grown at home. The Vegetable & Herb Expert, The Fruit Expert and The Greenhouse Expert show you how to get the very best from your garden or allotment. Now The Garden to Kitchen...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2011

The Complete Vegetable Grower
John Harrison
Whether you're lucky enough to have your own garden, run an allotment or only have enough room for a few pots and containers, you can successfully grow your own fresh vegetables to feed your family. John Harrison's practical guide gives...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/03/2011

Christopher Lloyd His Life at Great Dixter
Stephen Anderton
Christopher Lloyd (Christo) was one of the greatest English gardeners of the twentieth century, perhaps the finest plantsman of them all. His creation is the garden at Great Dixter in East Sussex, and it is a tribute to his vision...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2011

New Urban Farmer
Celia Brooks-Brown
For anyone starting out on the grow-your-own route it can all seem like hard labour with very little pleasure. To find out what joys are to come, New Urban Farmer is recommended as a first-class introduction to the delights of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2010

On the Plot with Dirty Nails: A Practical Guide to Fruit and Vegetable Gardening
Joe Hashman
The book is arranged by month, great for someone who has some growing experience, absolute beginners might need a little supplementary reading! The information provided tells you what to do each month and extra charts give a week-by-week guide. Then...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/09/2009

Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops
Martin Crawford
Opens the door to a whole new way of growing food – and don’t be put off by the word Forest in the title, this form of gardening can easily be adapted to back gardens by lowering the tree canopy...
Format: Hardback - Released: 13/04/2010

My Life on a Hillside Allotment
Terry Walton
This is the chap who has been giving advice to allotment holders on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 since 2003. Even if you are not a keen gardener there is something in this delightful book for everyone. Not...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/04/2008

Italian Kitchen Garden : Enjoy the Flavours of Italy from Your Garden
Sarah Fraser
June 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. An inspiring book for both gardeners and cooks, which brings Italy to your table by growing your own produce. Simple gardening advice and delicious recipes. Whether...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/05/2011

The Ivington Diaries
Monty Don
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 15 April 2010. The seasons in Monty Don’s hands are equally blessed. Capturing15 years of creative gardening at his farmhouse home in Ivington (in Herefordshire), Monty makes milky winter-sun pruning just as...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/10/2009

Pure Style : Recipes for Everyday
Jane Cumberbatch
Following her theme of the Pure Style, Jane Cumberbatch presents a book of living, eating and gardening simply and stylishly. Arranged by season, the book is a great pleasure to read. Jane’s personal reflections and her ideas on living extend...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/04/2011

Growing Food
Anna Pavord
In this revised and updated edition of her book The New Kitchen Garden, bestselling gardening writer Anna Pavord tells us all we need to know about growing fruit and vegetables.
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2011

Minding My Peas and Cucumbers Quirky Tales of Allotment Life
Kay Sexton
When Kay Sexton becomes the proud holder of an allotment, she hopes it will be her first foray towards self-sufficiency for her family. Instead, she finds herself in a strange and hostile world of arcane rules and regulations, and hosepipe...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/03/2011

Superfoods from the Garden Grow it, Cook it, and Achieve the Best Health Ever
Michael Van Straten
Superfoods from the Garden is the latest - and most important - book by Michael van Straten, the best-selling author and one of the most respected names in the world of complementary medicine and natural health care. A lifelong believer...
Format: Paperback - Released: 24/03/2011

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About this category

Gardening is a year round activity for the keen and possibly more of a seasonal activity for the less hardy.  Here at Lovereading our gardening book expert has spent the winter months, when she’s not on her allotment, deep in lots of gardening books, some of which are more at home with the armchair reader that’s in us all whilst others offer a more practical aspect on gardening.




None the less the ideal time to introduce a new selection of gardening titles is in the spring.  The weather is improving, the ground is drying and things are beginning to grow – the start of a new season at last.

As an introduction to vegetable growing there is John Harrison’s The Complete Vegetable Grower, it will be hard to go wrong with this as a reference. I can also recommend Michael van Straten’s Superfoods from the Garden, good gardening tips and clear and accessible information on the health properties of your fruit and vegetables – good recipes too. And any garden or allotment should find room for some fragrant plants, a joy to grow and ideal for attracting pollinating insects, a new guide, Fragrant Plants by Lucy Summers will be indispensible in choosing the right ones for every season.



Whether it’s in a deckchair at the height of summer or a chair by the fire in the depths of winter gardeners can enjoy some excellent garden literature this year.  There’s the winning and slightly mad Antony Woodward writing about his transformation of a wild mountain patch in The Garden in the Clouds. Katherine Swift returning to Morville with a selection of articles taking us through The Morville Year and lastly, a very special book, The Rain Tree: A Memoir  by Mirabel Osler. Looking back on a life, love, family and friends, gardens and plants are ever present. Beautifully observed, a quiet and reflective joy of a book.



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