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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.
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 standoffs. She finds her mud-caked Wellingtoned feet and successfully navigates her way through allotment-keeping: battling Biblical-scale pest invasions; learning the dark arts of the competitive vegetable grower; and, practising ninja-like disappearing acts to avoid yet another free cucumber from a neighbouring gardener.
'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 Tim Smit and thus was the impossible delivered: a living theatre of plants and people and their interdependence, housed in a disused china clay pit and featuring the world's largest greenhouses. Since Eden opened in 2001, well over ten million visitors have made their way to Eden, drawn by the astonishing, visionary ambition of its founders, the everchanging horticulture and new developments on-site. More have discovered it as an extraordinary music venue, attending Eden's sessions. But Eden is far more than a visitor attraction. It has mutated into an organisation with projects and partnerships all over the world concerned with rehabilitation (physical and social), community education, biodiversity, sustainable construction, green employment and town planning. Marking the 10th anniversary, this edition is the extraordinary, fully updated story of Eden complete with stunning new photographs.
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 and achievement that, after his death in 2006, the Heritage Lottery Fund made a grant of GBP4 million to help preserve it for the nation. This enjoyable and revealing book - the first biography of Christo - is also the story of Dixter from 1910 to 2006, a unique unbroken history of one English house and one English garden spanning a century. It was Christo's father, Nathaniel, who bought the medieval manor at Dixter and called in the fashionable Edwardian architect, Lutyens, to rebuild the house and lay out the garden. And it was his mother, Daisy, who made the first wild garden in the meadows there. Christo was born at Dixter in 1921. Apart from boarding school, war service and a period at horticultural college, he spent his whole life there, constantly re-planting and enriching the garden, while turning out landmark books and exhaustive journalism. Opinionated, argumentative and gloriously eccentric, he changed the face of English gardening through his passions for meadow gardening, dazzling colours and thorough husbandry. As the baby of a family of six - five boys and a girl - Christo was stifled by his adoring mother. Music-loving and sports-hating, he knew the Latin names of plants before he was eight. This fascinating book reveals what made Christo tick by examining his relationships with his generous but scheming mother, his like-minded friends (such as gardeners Anna Pavord and Beth Chatto) and his colleagues (including his head gardener, Fergus Garrett, a plantsman in Christo's own mould).
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 Expert completes the story, explaining how to prepare all the produce you have grown for the table. The Garden to Kitchen Expert shows you: classic recipes for preparing each fruit and vegetable; new ideas for making the most of a glut; trusted methods for everyday cooking; how to serve your produce where no cooking is required; how to store, preserve and pickle what you grow before serving; and, exciting kitchen uses for flowers and weeds from your garden. It offers reliable, easy-to-follow advice and information from best-selling EXPERT books.
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 easy to use and quick for reference, every plant illustrated in colour and beginners will find all the planting, care and propagation tips they need. Alongside the obvious – the roses, honeysuckles and lavenders - there are more unusual plants – and trees to try and I, for now, am on the hunt for an Eriobotrya Japonica a tree that flowers from November to March and has “extravagantly scented blossoms” just what’s needed to get through a long winter. Like for Like ReadingThe Rose, David AustinFlowers in the Garden: A Practical Guide to Planting for Colour and Fragrance All Year Round, Andi Clevely
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.
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 develops alopecia, his fruit trees are shunned by all pollinating insects, his veg is a big hit with slugs and his Indian sandstone patio becomes an ingenious sunken garden. Chapters include Pruning, Weeding, Compost (Ivor is convinced that cryogenics fan Walt Disney could be happily accommodated in his non-decomposing compost bins), Sheds, Pond-Life, Oh, I Simply Adore Lobelia (people who talk too loudly in show gardens), TV Gardening, Pests and Living With 'Leaf Lady', a woman hell-bent on identifying every foreign leaf that is swept into their garden - and returning it...There is a Grumpy Calendar of seasonal jobs in the garden and how best to avoid them, plus advice on how to impress people with a Slacker's Veg Patch (vegetables that look after themselves more or less).
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 and limiting the number of plants you grow. A lifetime’s experience is distilled here, beautifully presented, it shows how to grow using perennial plants, the most sustainable form of gardening. As well as a new form of gardening, Martin Crawford is introducing new and unusual plants making this a stand-out choice.Like for Like ReadingPlants for a Future, Ken FernOrganic Gardening: The Natural No-Dig Way, Charles Dowding
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 growing to eat. It’s a journey through the growing year, partly a diary, partly a manual and very much to do with eating with delicious recipes to follow. A visual treat, the photographs are superb, the advice good and inspiration on every page for both lucky allotment holders and tremulous beginners with just a window box and a few pots. Like for Like ReadingTender, Vol One: A Cook and his Vegetable Patch, Nigel SlaterSarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook, Sarah Raven
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 fruit and vegetables, herbs and flowers recommended for growing. I liked the information boxes recommending varieties and the “at a glance” section, the choice of illustrations and how easy it is to use. Would make a lovely gift for anyone starting out with an allotment. Like for Like Reading The Allotment Book, Andi ClevelyOne Man and His Dig: Adventures of an Allotment Novice, Valentine Low
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 pleasurable as the heady thrills of summer gardening. It is an everyday diary but each entry comes from different years within the span – so there’s a story of Weeds on 9 January 1999 followed by Moles on 10 January 2004. But it all reads seamlessly, as seasons do in memory. His writing, like his gardening, is rigorous, solid, honest, beautiful, whimsical. His happiest experiences include being in the garden with his wife Sarah, each on their own patch, simultaneously working out their dreams for the place.
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 there’s what’s ready for eating and - to get the busy gardener to look up and observe from time-to-time, notes on what you can see around you. Add in some projects and recipes and this is a lovely guide for daily use and winter fireside dreaming. Like for Like ReadingVegetable Growing Month-by-Month: The Down-to-Earth Guide that takes you through the Vegetable Year, John HarrisonGrow Your Own: Fruit and Vegetables in Plot, Pots or Growbags: The A-Z Guide to Growing and Cooking Farm-Fresh Food, Steve Ott
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).