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Home & Garden Books

Our Home & Garden section provides inspiration for your next DIY or gardening project. Whether your looking to start designing your garden, or looking for the latest and trendiest homes to take inspiration from, have a look through the books we have on offer.

The Language of Flowers: A Miscellany

The Language of Flowers: A Miscellany

Author: Mandy Kirkby, Vanessa Diffenbaugh Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/10/2011

'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, a message of thanks, or to pay one's respect at a funeral. But, while everyone knows that red roses signify love, few may realise that an entire language of flowers exists with every bloom, folliage and plant having a particular emotion attached, be it hazel for reconcilliation, wisteria for welcome or ivy for fidelity. This unique language was created by the romantic early Victorians who carefully planned every bouquet and posy so as to deliver a desired message.

Spade as Mighty as the Sword The Story of World War Two's Dig for Victory Campaign

Spade as Mighty as the Sword The Story of World War Two's Dig for Victory Campaign

Author: Daniel Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/07/2011

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 of Britain's most successful propaganda campaigns - Dig for Victory - encouraging every man and woman to turn their garden, or even the grass verge in their street, over to cultivating vegetables. By 1942 half the population were taking part, and even the Royal Family had sacrificed their rose beds for growing onions. Now Dan Smith tells the full story of this remarkable wartime episode when spades, forks and bean canes became weapons the ordinary citizen could take up against the enemy. It had tangible benefits for the war effort in that shipping could be reallocated for munitions instead of food imports, as well as for the health of the nation in encouraging a diet of fresh fruit and veg. The campaign threw up unexpected celebrities like C.H. Middleton, whose wartime BBC radio talks on gardening reached a vast audience, and it even sowed the seeds for the modern allotment movement. Ultimately it is a war story without fighting or killing, one that shows how even The Little Man with the Spade, in the words of the Minister for Agriculture at the time, did his bit for Victory.

The Garden in the Clouds Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic

The Garden in the Clouds Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic

Author: Antony Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2011

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 gardening. Buying Tair-ffynnon, a derelict smallholding 1,300 feet up in the Black Mountains of Wales, changed everything. Hooked by its beauty -- when not buried in cloud -- Woodward battles to meet the strict requirements of the famous 'Yellow Book' in this unlikely terrain. He finds himself driven by apparently inexplicable compulsions: wood chopping, hauling a 20-tonne railway carriage up a mountain, even beekeeping. Soon, his voyage along the rocky path to his own patch of paradise takes on a more personal tenor as he unearths the deep roots linking gardening and his childhood in this warm, funny and unlikely memoir. Beautifully written and effortlessly engaging, 'The Garden in the Clouds' is a compelling read for anyone who has ever gardened -- or ever dreamt of doing so.

The Gardener's Year Made Easy

The Gardener's Year Made Easy

Author: Ceri Thomas Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/03/2011

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 count. This invaluable gardening guide shows you how to care for your garden month by month. From large-scale ornamental gardens to pot plants on your patio The Gardener's Year Made Easy will take you through the essential tasks to keep your plants in tip-top condition. Find out the most important jobs to do each month for all aspects of your garden, from vegetable plots to lawn care and large trees to herbaceous borders.

Superfoods from the Garden Grow it, Cook it, and Achieve the Best Health Ever

Superfoods from the Garden Grow it, Cook it, and Achieve the Best Health Ever

Author: Michael Van Straten Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/03/2011

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 that good health comes first and foremost from the food you eat, here Michael brings together his three passions - spreading the word on good health the natural way, organic gardening and producing fantastic meals from freshly harvested food. With chapters devoted to each fruit and vegetable family, Michael begins by detailing the different health benefits of each food - for example, did you know that a generous serving of fresh peas supplies all the vitamin B1 you need for a day, or that leeks have a strong antibacterial effect and offer protection against stomach cancer? Once you have decided which crops to grow, Michael explains how to cultivate and nurture your plants. As a dedicated organic gardener, Michael offers tips, techniques and shortcuts to help you to achieve the best harvest ever. Finally, each chapter concludes with a collection of recipes, all devised to capture the goodness of the ingredients.

The Complete Vegetable Grower

The Complete Vegetable Grower

Author: John Harrison Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/03/2011

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 you all the information you need to prepare the soil and start sowing your seeds. Learn all about: preparing the vegetable patch; getting the most from your land; tackling weeds and pests; benefiting from greenhouses and polytunnels; making your own compost and organic fertilizers; successional growing; and, saving and sowing your own seed. It includes a month-by-month guide to help you plan your gardening year. The Complete Vegetable Grower contains, in one comprehensive volume, all John's tips and tried-and-tested methods for successful vegetable growing. It includes an indispensable A to Z guide to vegetables, month-by-month advice to help you plan your gardening year, and an easy-to-follow sowing and harvesting chart. And, for the first time, his practical advice is illustrated with hundreds of beautiful colour photos.

Whether you’re a ‘look at the pictures and see how other people do it’ kind of person, a “that’s a nice flower, I wonder what it’s called?” type, or a ‘well-worn gloves and boots, all-weather, green-fingered gardening guru’ (or a bit of all three for that matter), then there’s something for you here in our lovingly tendered gardening section.

There are books for reference (the RHS’s ‘A-Z Encyclopaedia of Plants’) books to help inspire: winter gardens, summer gardens, spring planting, urban gardens, small gardens, (Small Garden by John Brookes) kitchen gardens and allotments (A Taste of the Unexpected by Mark Diacono), and gardens that support wild life (Fragrant Plants by Lucy Summers). There are books about famous gardens (Bunny Guinness’s ‘Highgrove, A Garden Celebrated’). And when you just want a good read by the fire after a long day in the potting shed, there are the more anecdotal tales of ambition, achievement and planting passion (‘Spade, Mightier than the Sword: The Story of World War Two’s “Dig for Victory” Campaign’ by Daniel Smith).