25 September 2023

7 gardening books you shouldn’t be without this autumn

25 September 2023

Want some gardening inspiration this autumn? You could be leafing through some brilliant new books for horticultural tips, design advice and insider knowledge, as you hunker down in the cooler months.

Here are some of the best offerings:

1. The Gardening Book by Monty Don (Oct 26, BBC Books, £28)

 Anyone who enjoys BBC Gardeners’ World will know that our favourite gardening presenter is a safe pair of hands. Now, he’s back with this book which will show newcomers the potential of their outdoor space. He covers everything from growing your own veg to creating a child-friendly garden and making the most of your houseplants. The book shows the basics of 11 popular flowers, foods and more, with clear guidance and step-by-step photos.

2. Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook by Sarah Raven (Bloomsbury, £28)

We all should be eating seasonal produce, right? So, anyone who missed this mouthwatering book offering from the writer and broadcaster, celebrating fresh ideas and simple recipes for eating seasonally first time around may want to splash out on this beautifully repackaged edition. It divides the year into six seasonal chunks as Raven covers the best vegetables, fruit and herbs grown in the UK, with accompanying recipes ranging from spinach and Gruyere tart to mint and pea tip risotto. Delicious.

3. RHS House Plant by Fran Bailey and Zia Allaway (Oct 5, DK, £20)

Even if you only have room for a few houseplants, RHS experts can help you keep them thriving and inspire you with projects to make the most of your collections, from terrariums to kokedama ferns and potted plant wreaths. This book helps you consider the best varieties for your home out of more than 330 types, from succulents and cacti to orchids and bromeliads, and includes care advice and propagation tips.

4. The Cottage Garden by Claus Dalby (Cool Springs Press, £28)

This richly illustrated book featuring all our perennial cottage garden favourites, from astrantia and alliums, to peonies, roses, campanula and foxgloves, provides an inspirational guide to some of the most beautiful cottage gardens around the globe. With chapters which draw inspiration from generations of cottage gardeners including Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West, this coffee-table tome is overflowing with details about design and evolution of the cottage garden, serving as a motivation whether you live in the countryside or the suburbs.

5. Feel-Good Gardening by Claire Stares (Vie, £12.99)

Anyone who wants to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing will find that at least some of the answers lie in gardening. This handy little guide shows how you can make the most of your garden, with chapters on de-stressing, the benefits of birdsong, tree therapy and beating the winter blues. The author offers feel-good facts about the feelings you experience when gardening or just being in the garden and offers tips on how you can stimulate your senses to fully appreciate the sounds, smells and colours of your outdoor space.

6. RHS Garden Almanac 2024, illustrated by Angela Harding (Sep 28, Frances Lincoln, £14.99)

There’s always one gardening book you return to time after time during the calendar year, with advice on when to sow, how to grow and when edibles are ripe for picking. This invaluable guide, written by RHS and gardening experts, not only shows you how to do stuff, but also offers useful information on the average rainfall and hours of sun your area experiences through the year, how the moon can affect garden wildlife and includes seasonal recipes you can make from your harvests.

7. Edible: 70 Sustainable Plants That Are Changing How We Eat by Kevin Hobbs and Artur Cisar-Erlach (Thames & Hudson, £25)

With climate change, carbon footprint and an emphasis on sustainability, this timely book offers a visual journey into edible plants from around the world that are revolutionising how we grow, eat and appreciate food. It shows what we could eat when our usual diets are no longer sustainable, highlighting 70 different plants, including grains and unusual vegetables, what growing conditions they need and tips on cooking and eating them. What we grow and eat may change in the next few years and this is a window into the future.

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