I confess that for a garden journalist I am often ambivalent about garden books. They have to be either practical and informative or totally inspirational to justify a permanent place in my bookshelves. Either way, I like them to be illustrative rather than wordy and legible – too many coffee table books use tiny fonts or pale type that is infuriating when I’m trying to use it for quick reference. Despite my fussiness, I appear to have amassed quite a collection of garden books, and a rainy Sunday provides me with just the excuse I need to look at them.
I have a treasured collection of old garden books, chosen for their quirky titles, lovely covers, or strange subject matter. I tend to dip in to these on rainy days like today, but have yet to read any of them from cover to cover!
For practical gardening my collection of David Hessayon’s excellent guides on everything from houseplants, containers, vegetable and fruit are indispensable. I am lucky to have some of these inscribed by the author.
Most of the RHS books are too cumbersome to carry in and out of the garden, but my Which? Guides on pruning and propagating are kept in the greenhouse for easy reference.
For inspiration, here are a couple of books that I constantly refer to when thinking of quick decorative ideas for my plot…
…And this is my absolute favourite coffee table book – a tome of beautiful gardens from all over the world that is perfect to look through on a winter’s day.