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.
Finding herself in a new home in Brighton, Kate Bradbury sets about transforming her decked, barren backyard into a beautiful wildlife garden. She documents the unbuttoning of the earth and the rebirth of the garden, the rewilding of a tiny urban space. On her own she unscrews, saws and hammers the decking away, she clears the builders' rubble and rubbish beneath it, and she digs and enriches the soil, gradually planting it up with plants she knows will attract wildlife. She erects bird boxes and bee hotels, hangs feeders and grows nectar - and pollen-rich plants, and slowly brings life back to the garden. But while she's doing this Kate's neighbours continue to pave and deck their gardens locking them away, the wildlife she tries to save is further threatened, and she feels she's fighting an uphill battle. Is there any point in gardening for wildlife when everyone else is drowning the land in poison and cement? Sadly, events take Kate away from her garden, and she finds herself back home in Birmingham where she grew up, travelling the roads she used to race down on her bike in the eighties, thinking of the gardens and wildlife she loved, witnessing more land lost beneath paving stones. If the dead could return, what would they say about the land we have taken, the ancient routes we have carved up, the wildlife we have lost?
Coloured by Jenny Uglow's own love for plants, and brought to life in the many vivid illustrations, this book deals not only with flowery meads, grottoes and vistas, landscapes and ha-has, parks and allotments, but tells you, for example, how the Tudors made their curious knots; how housewives used herbs to stop freckles; how the suburbs dug for victory in World War II. With a brief guide to particular historic or evocative gardens open to the public, this is a book to put in your pocket when planning a summer day out - but also to read in your deckchair with a glass of cold wine, when dead-heading is simply too much.
Get inspired to give your home a natural make-over with this stunning book from award-winning interior landscape designer Ian Drummond and interiors editor Kara O'Reilly. Houseplants are hot, and creative interior planting is becoming increasingly easy to achieve. The new wave of unusual and dramatic indoor plants is as much about decor and statement as greenery. Used aesthetically, as a focal point and sculptural element in interior design, indoor gardening is not just about possessing or growing a plant, but about using it as an accessory combined with other objects to create a particular style and mood.
This is the gardening book reimagined for a new generation. A book for people who want to learn how to grow things, but haven't got a clue where to start. With the average person now spending an enormous 8 hours and 41 minutes in front of a screen every day, gardening is an easy way to escape for half an hour. Whether on a rented balcony or a sunny kitchen windowsill, it turns out growing something with your own two hands can make you feel better. Which is where HOW TO GROW comes in. Irreverent and inspiring, this book will equip you with all the know-how and confidence you need to take your first steps into a lifelong gardening love affair - trowel in one hand, drink in the other.
Flowers, and the fruits that follow, feed, clothe, sustain, and inspire all humanity. They have done so since before recorded history. Flowers are used to celebrate all-important occasions, to express love, and are also the basis of global industries. Yet, we know little about flowers, their origins, bizarre sex lives, or how humans relate and depend upon them. Flowering plants continue to serve as inspiration in our myths and legends, in the fine and decorative arts, and in literary works of prose and poetry. Flowers seduce us-and animals, too-through their myriad shapes, colours, textures, and scents. And because of our extraordinary appetite for more unusual and beautiful super flowers, plant breeders have created such unnatural blooms as blue roses and black petunias to cater to the human world of haute couture fashion. In so doing, the nectar and pollen vital to the bees, butterflies, and bats of the world, are being reduced. Buchmann explains the unfortunate consequences, and explores how to counter them by growing the right flowers. Here, he integrates fascinating stories about the many colourful personalities who populate the world of flowers, and the flowers and pollinators themselves, with a research-based narrative that illuminates just why there is, indeed, a Reason for Flowers.
This book is from the author of the Samuel Johnson Prize - shortlisted Sunday Times bestseller, A Sting in the Tale. In 2003, Dave Goulson bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow. Over the course of a decade, he created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive along with myriad insects of every kind. In this book you will learn how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. But it is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. A Buzz in the Meadow is a captivating look at our natural world and a call to arms for nature-lovers everywhere. Glorious. (The Times). Captivating. (Independent).
Have you ever grown a batch of lovingly nurtured tomatoes only to be disappointed by the flavour when you harvest them? Best-selling gardening writer and botanist James Wong is convinced that the problem lies with current gardening practices which create bumper harvests at the direct expense of flavour. James's solution? Simply by growing the best-flavoured varieties and treating them just a bit meaner, you will not only get harvests with an intense flavour - but also slash the work involved. Combining cutting-edge science with overlooked traditional techniques, this ground-breaking book lays out a series of deceptively simple tips and tricks to measurably increase the flavour of grow-your-own favourites like sweetcorn, strawberries and tomatoes, while at the same time revealing exciting new foodie crops you never knew you could grow. James also provides 40 really simple recipes for delicious ways to eat what you've grown. With James Wong's RHS Grow for Flavour you can halve your labour and double your harvest - and be rewarded with flavour that simply cannot be bought. So what are you waiting for?
Charles Dowding draws on his years of experience, to show how easy it is to start a new vegetable garden. Any plot -- whether a building site, overgrown with weeds or unwanted lawn -- can be turned into a beautiful and productive vegetable area. Charles's no-nonsense and straightforward advice is the perfect starting point for the beginner or experienced gardener. The book takes you step-by-step through: * Planning and early stages * Clearing the ground * Mulch - what, why, how? * Minimizing digging * Sowing and planting across the seasons * Growing in polytunnels and greenhouses It is filled with labour-saving ideas and the techniques that Charles uses to garden so successfully, and is illustrated throughout with photos and tales from Charles's first year in his new vegetable garden.
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; in Summer, the longed-for delphiniums in the Sundial Garden stand proudly to attention and dramatic leaf colours welcome Autumn to the Arboretum as the harvesting in the Kitchen Garden begins. In Winter the structural elements of the garden have their moment of glory as the year comes to a close and the cycle of the seasons continues. Lavishly illustrated with photographs that capture both the light and detail of this magisterial space, this beautiful book will delight and inspire gardeners of every level. It is an exquisite celebration of garden design, passion and inspiration.
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 Weald. Almost immediately the animals started arriving revealing the family’s genius for naming them. They didn’t need to do the self-sufficiency thing, they wanted to and this account is all the more believable as we read of just as many successes as failures. The family manages to balance the financial side of farming with care and good management; they don’t always manage to keep the animals under control, their decision to breed animals like Jacobs sheep that are able to jump and evade fencing don’t make things easy. Why do we still not use odd corners of the land for crops and grazing as the Jacksons did, why not run sheep with a lone horse at pasture, a mutually beneficial practice, small ways that make the most of the land, this is an enjoyable read that we can still learn from. A 'Piece of Passion' from the author... 'This book tells a tale of how a family - my family - living in a sliver of countryside in Kent in London's commuter belt, came over some ten years, to make itself, in its 'spare time' self sufficient in its requirements for milk, meat, eggs, vegetables and some fruit.My then wife Ann and I had each grown up in the countryside and we had missed the connection with the land we had known then. As child, I had lived in a former fisherman's cottage in Dorset when self sufficiency was a matter of necessity. My father was on the dole, of which there was not much in the 1930's, and my mother was in poor health. We lived on what we could grow or forage and if the tide was right what we could get out of the sea. I remember how a conger eel caught by my father would provide us with fish cakes for a week! But the book is also about more than the activities of a family and their animals. It is an attempt to make a small statement about people's relationship with the land they live on and the importance of that relationship. I have long believed that the 'health' of a nation is better and its communities and their cultures stronger, the more it cleaves and values the land it lives on.' Like for Like Reading Spotted Pigs & Green Tomatoes: A Year in the Life of Our Farm, Rosie Boycott Tales of the Country, Brian Viner
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 gardeners, wars, plots and natural disasters run through every garden older than a generation or two and fill every corner of the grander historical ones. Families marry. Gardeners are poached. Political allegiances forged and shattered. The human trail crosses from garden to garden. They sit in their surrounding landscape, not as isolated islands but attached umbilically to it, sharing the geology, the weather, food, climate, local folklore, accent and cultural identity. Wines must be drunk and food tasted. Recipes found and compared. The perfect tarte-tartin pursued. None of these things can be ignored or separated from the shape and size of parterre, fountain, herbaceous border or pottager. So this is a book filled with stories and information, some of it about French gardens and gardening, but most of it about what makes France unlike anywhere else. From historical gardens like Versailles,Vaux le Vicomte and Courances to the kitchen gardens of the Michelin chef Alain Passard. There are grand potagers like Villandry and La Prieure D'Orsan and allotments and back gardens spotted on the way. Monty celebrates the obvious French associations of food and wine and finds gardens dedicated to vegetables, herbs and fruit. It is a book that any visitor to France, whether gardeners or not, will want to read both as a guide and an inspiration. It is a portal to get under the French cultural skin and to understand the country, in all its huge variety and disparity, a little better.
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 month, learn how to tell the differences between similar species, like frogs and toads, and transform the foraged finds from your walks into jewellery or decorations for your home, or even something tasty to eat. Each month includes did you know features on a selection of our most interesting species of bird, plant and animal, helpful tips on how to improve your nature detective skills, as well as interesting snippets of country lore. Celia Lewis reveals all this and much more as she uncovers some of nature's secrets in her latest captivating book.
In Bed & Out
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).
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