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Recommended gardening books

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Total number of topics in this forum: 20

Looking for a 1970s book with descriptions of individual country gardens

Question from Fiona

Can anyone help me to find a book I remember reading in the late 1970's. It was in a library so may have been published earlier. It contained descriptions and pictures of individual gardens . The owners were all men and quite posh. The title may have included country or gentleman. It was not The Englishman's garden nor The Englishwoman's garden - it was before them but very similar and it was smaller in size, possibly landscape format. I would love to read it again, particularly about one garden that sticks in the memory.

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  • Posted: Sun. 7th February 2016 19:00

Adrian Bloom's most recent book

Comment from Globetrotter Gardener

Anybody read -Bloom's Best Perennials and Grasses: Expert Plant Choices and Dramatic Combinations for Year-Round Gardens?

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  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Tue. 26th February 2013 16:39
  • Last reply: Tue. 26th February 2013 17:20

Life in a Cottage Garden - Carol Klein

General post from Gardens by Mike Palmer

For me, Carol Klein epitomises gardening. Her passion and sheer enthusiasm for all things green and organic is instantly infectious.

In 'Life in a Cottage Garden' we're invited to have a sneaky peek over the boundary hedge of Glebe Cottage, her home and garden in the beautiful North Devon countryside.

The book takes the format of a gardener's diary, with Carol sharing a personal and intimate insight into her day-to-day activities in her garden with her husband Neil, daughters Annie and Alice, pet dogs Fleur and Fifi and cat Sylvie. As each month unfolds we're treated to fascinating insights into what needs to be undertaken in the different areas within her garden, including the Brick Garden, the Hot Beds and the Woodland Garden. Alongside this are details of the year round hive of propagation activity in the potting shed.

What is particularly striking is the sheer volume of activities that Carol takes upon herself. I was left feeling somewhat inadequate at times and I'm almost 15 years her junior!

A strong theme in this book is propagation, which is only to be expected of a leading plantswoman. Anything and everything that can be propagated, is. Whilst details of the how and when for some elements of propagation are shown in the book, readers will benefit from getting hold of a copy of Carol's 'Grow Your Own Garden' book (see my Shoot review).

In summary, a great read, which is both entertaining, informative and fascinating. But the book is more than this; Carol's descriptions of fauna and flora, prevailing weather conditions and the surrounding North Devonshire countryside are a joy to read. With stunning photography by Jonathan Buckley, this book is a must for all gardeners.

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  • Posted: Wed. 23rd February 2011 12:04
  • Last reply: Sun. 5th August 2012 06:42

How to Grow Your Own Garden - Carol Klein

General post from Gardens by Mike Palmer

In these austere days of spending cuts, increased VAT and job losses, this book is a ray of golden sunshine. Not only does Carol's sheer enthusiasm make you want to go straight out into your own garden and start propagating everything, but in addition by doing so, you'll be saving yourself a small fortune.

Refreshingly too, Carol's book is extremely well organised with chapters devoted to seeds, root cuttings, stem cuttings, layering, division and a whole lot more. The introduction of each section explains exactly how the propagation technique works, tools needed and when is the best time to do it. Carol also links the different propagation practices back to how plants propagate themselves in nature so you have a really clear understanding of why certain techniques work.

Having completely de-mystified propagation, Carol also includes a section on the all important 'aftercare' of newly propagated plants. And finally, once you've mastered the theory of the different techniques, there's a quick reference table at the back of the book matching specific plants to propagation techniques for available for that plant.

Just one note of caution. I'm already in need of a much bigger greenhouse!

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  • Posted: Wed. 23rd February 2011 09:39

Designing with Grasses - Neil Lucas

Comment from Gardens by Mike Palmer

Grass guru, Neil Lucas, is the nine consecutive Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist and owner of the beautiful Knoll Gardens in Dorset.

In this Neil's first book he provides a fascinating and practical guide to using grasses in a wide variety of differing garden situations. And whilst the book is beautifully illustrated throughout with photographs by Neil and photographer Dianna Jazwinski, Neil's descriptions of grasses and how they change throughout the season are exquisite.

The book also contains a useful directory of grasses and grass-like plants, detailing where they grow best, dimensions and more.

This book is a must for gardeners and designers. I defy even the most experienced of us to put this book down without having learnt something new.

My blog http://gardensbymikepalmer.blogspot will be featuring an exclusive interview with Neil Lucas later this week.

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  • Posted: Wed. 23rd February 2011 09:08
  • Last reply: Wed. 23rd February 2011 10:04

Autumn/Winter Gardening & fruit plant

Question from O Larry

What vegetables & herbs can I plant for Autumn and winter? Also are there any dwarf pear trees I can plant in my garden?

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  • Posted: Wed. 22nd September 2010 23:23
  • Last reply: Fri. 19th January 2018 14:21

Designing With Plants by Piet Oudolf, with Noel Kingsbury

General post from

This is a really inspiring book for anyone who wants year round interest in their garden - by this, I don't just mean flowers, berries and foliage in spring, summer, autumn and winter, but also how beautiful plants can look in dormancy and even death. Many of us remove fading flowers but letting some plants go to seed can look stunning in autumn and winter, both because they add height and structure, rather than just bare earth, and also can look striking with a covering of frost. Add to this the beautiful light effects caused by the low angle of the sun at these times of year and the completely different colour effects shown by the browns and golds of dying/dead flowers, seedheads, stems etc mixed with greens of evergreen plants - you can enjoy an exciting and refreshingly different autumn and winter garden. The author shows named examples of plants, mainly perennials, with beautiful photos, which show different plant shapes and forms such as spires, umbels, plumes, screens, shape, texture, buttons, globes as well as hot and cold colour effects. Also how to combine these shapes,effects and colours when designing the garden. Radical, breathtaking, exciting.

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  • Posted: Fri. 27th August 2010 19:31
  • Last reply: Thu. 2nd September 2010 06:00

The Essential Garden by Terrance Conran and Dan Pearson

Comment from Robert Kennett - Garden Designer

Huge book and masses of inspiring images with copy written by experts in their fields. A must.

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  • Posted: Fri. 27th August 2010 03:52

101 Bold and Beautiful Flowers

Comment from Patricia Jones

101 Bold and Beautiful Flowers a BBC book for Gardeners World Magazine.Cost £4.99
Lovely photos and a lively comment on each flower
This handy little book is divided into eleven sections by colour.
I found it very useful

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  • Posted: Thu. 19th August 2010 20:59

The Heart of a Garden - by Jess Wynne. (Published by OSCHA)

Comment from Jo Perkins

A GARDEN BOOK WITH A DIFFERENCE - Gardens to visit across the South West with beautiful pictures of the gardens and close-ups of many of the plants. However, what makes this book different from so many others is the text. The book is written from a fun (and occasionally irreverent) perspective and filled with history, folklore and even the occasional recipe!
I received this as a birthday present this year and it's a great book to sit and read when the gardening is finished (or if it's waiting to be done!)
There are also 2 DVD's available to accompany the book.

Further information from: www.theheartofagarden.com

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  • Posted: Tue. 22nd June 2010 19:28
  • Last reply: Thu. 12th August 2010 05:44