Gardening books of the year: Roses to revel in, trees to treasure and the magic of magnolia
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THE TREE IN MY GARDEN
by Kate Bradbury (DK £20, 176 pp)
This love letter to the wonder of trees is full of quirky arboreal information; did you know that some evergreen trees keep their leaves in winter by producing ‘a sort of antifreeze’?
Bradbury selects 50 of the best trees for a garden, from the dainty crab apple to the towering liquidambar. Whatever your choice, she declares, a tree will soon become its own little nature reserve.
If you feel your garden is a bit bland and predictable, then dive into A Plant for Every Day of the Year
BRILLIANT ENGLISH GARDENS
by Clive Nichols (Clearview £60, 320 pp)
Twenty-seven of England’s most beautiful gardens are profiled in this lavish tome. A short description of each is followed by page after page of glorious photos, capturing them at their seasonal peak.
The gardens, including Arundel Castle, Gravetye Manor and Forde Abbey, are mostly on a grand scale, but smaller ones are also included.
A PLANT FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
by Philip Clayton (DK £20, 256 pp)
If you feel your garden is a bit bland and predictable then dive into this book, full of well-chosen suggestions for rewarding plants to try, whatever your growing space.
Divided by seasons, it gives detailed growing information and the plants — each illustrated — range from house varieties to shrubs and trees.
by Lucy Bellamy (Mitchell Beazley £22, 223 pp)
This ingenious book offers 52 different planting schemes for urban gardeners including an annual meadow, an English flower garden and a winter woodland.
Each design uses just five plants, with instructions showing how to combine them and why they work so well together.
Although aimed mainly at novice gardeners, there are plenty of good ideas for the more experienced.
Grow 5 offers 52 different planting schemes for urban gardeners including an annual meadow, an English flower garden and a winter woodland
THE CREATIVE GARDENER
by Adam Frost (DK £20, 253 pp)
Before becoming a regular presenter on BBC TV’s Gardener’s World, Adam Frost was an award-winning garden designer.
There are 25 projects here, with the emphasis on creating structures, from a tool store to plant supports, benches and a pond.
Frost also includes detailed planting schemes, many of them perfect for attracting wildlife. Just the book for a gardener who’s handy with a drill and a saw.
BORDE HILL GARDEN
by Vanessa Berridge (Merrell £40, 207 pp)
Owned by the same family since 1893, Borde Hill garden in West Sussex was founded by a Victorian businessman who was also a passionate plant collector.
Today the 35-acre garden and woodland is known for its superb collections of magnolia and unusual trees, plus its exuberant all-year-round colour.
This lavish book traces the garden’s evolution, with superb photos through the seasons, and captures its unique atmosphere.
THE INDOOR GARDEN
by Jade Murray (Pimpernel Press £20, 144 pp)
Houseplants are hip again thanks to the Instagram and TikTok generation.
This well-illustrated and approachable guide is packed with good information on the best houseplants for beginners. It also suggests specimens that won’t die while you’re on holiday and ones which can cope with heat or humidity.
Fill the house with indoor greenery, Murray writes, and you’ll have ‘a little pocket of plant heaven’.
SECRET GARDENS OF THE SOUTH EAST
by Barbara Segall (Frances Lincoln £22, 144 pp)
This takes an in-depth look at 20 magnificent gardens in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, talking to the owners and charting the development of the planting.
One might quibble at calling some of these gardens secret, as several are well-known, but Segall is an insightful guide to them, big or small, and the photos are great.
Secret Gardens of the South East takes an in-depth look at 20 magnificent gardens in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, talking to the owners and charting the development of the planting
by Charles Dowding (DK £30, 288 pp)
Dowding is a pioneer of the ‘no dig’ method of vegetable gardening: forget back-breaking digging, he says, and concentrate on understanding the needs of your soil.
Drawing on 40 years of experience, he explains the principles of soil preparation and advises on how to grow champion crops. An engrossing read for anyone who dreams of their own bountiful garden.
by Michael Marriott (DK £24.99, 259 pp)
Roses are Britain’s favourite flower, but with so many varieties available, how do you know which one to choose for your plot?
Renowned rose expert Michael Marriott selects 200 of the loveliest roses for all situations, from containers and borders to walls and fences.
He also suggests roses for fragrance and for growing through trees, as well as for autumn colour.
If you revel in roses, as so many of us do, this is the perfect book for you.
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