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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.
'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.
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 winds down this is just what the garden lover needs, wise words, sage advice, ideas and views on the garden. Seductive writing indeed, her wit and reflections have quite a galvanising effect for Anna Pavord takes gardening away from the “experts” and makes it something for everyone, we might fail but we never give up, next year, next Spring – then it will all go right - and - because we’ve been inspired by Anna Pavord’s passions, we will plant Tulips, great swathes of Tulips. Like for Like Reading The Morville Year, Katherine Swift My Roots: A Decade in the Garden, Monty Don
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.
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 you have a balcony, a patio, or space for a full kitchen garden, Sarah provides a wealth of easy-to-understand instructions and advice - tried and tested in her own garden. This is the perfect book for anyone who loves Italian food and would like to know how to grow it - even on a small scale.
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 somewhat justified. She is looking back on life, sorting through accumulations of letters, diaries and photographs with that sadness that comes from knowing that one day who will know that person in the photograph, their story and history. We are introduced to places and people, her beloved husband Michael who sadly died just before her classic A Gentle Plea for Chaos was originally published, her children, her friends, the places where she has lived – and loved. A jewel of a book. Like for Like ReadingA Little History of British Gardening, Jenny UglowA Gentle Plea for Chaos, Mirabel Osler
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 the hundreds of tips and ideas, there is some very good advice to be had on soil, compost and fertiliser in particular. It’s fun to read with useful tables and quirky step-by-step diagrams, the projects achievable, that almost free food eminently possible. Like for Like Reading The Self-Sufficient-ish Bible, Andy & Dave HamiltonThe Thrifty Gardener: How to Create a Stylish Garden for Next to Nothing, Alys Fowler
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 the cooking theme. To take one example, the Rose; there are excellent recommendations of what to grow and how to look after your plants, how to use flowers in cooking through to making pot-pourri and pressed flowers. It’s a very well-rounded look at the place of food in life, how you can cook well but simply, how to make your house into a home. Like for Like ReadingSarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook, Sarah RavenThe Kitchen Diaries, Nigel Slater
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.
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 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.
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.
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 the seasons, a gorgeous bran tub of a book that goes beyond gardening into the delights of land, the plants that make up a garden, the people, animals and insects that visit. Just about the ideal bedside book for any gardener, a chapter of Katherine Swift’s meditations on Morville and its garden will sooth even the most savage breast. Like for Like ReadingThe Morville Hours, Katherine SwiftThe Jewel Garden, Monty Don
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).