Gardening: Six of Christmas’s best gardening books


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Put a few gardening books on your Christmas wish list if gardening has got you going this year and you want more ideas and inspiration.

There are plenty of books to give you a head start this Christmas, whether you are tending your houseplants, beginning a new vegetable patch or searching for inspiration for 2021.

There’s a book for every green lover, from famous television gardeners Monty Don and Frances Tophill to nature guides, gardening manuals and indoor plant guides.

Here are only some of the offerings that you need to consider….

1. Succulents and all things under glass by Isabelle Palmer for good success (CICO Books, £ 9.99).

This could be the book for you if you’ve been following the succulent trend and are now amassing quite a selection. It contains over 25 thoughts on how to build stylish indoor gardens with succulents and terrariums, including whimsical ideas on how to show your succulents in wine and brandy glasses, written by renowned urban garden designer Isabelle Palmer. Great for a Christmas host who wants to use plants to show off their artistic side.

2. RHS Complete Gardener’s Manual (various authors) (DK, £22) for the whole picture.

For a gardener who just wants to have a one-stop shop for all horticultural stuff. This book is a perfect guide for beginners and seasoned gardeners alike, from preparing your planting to pruning, propagation and problem solving, and will save you a great deal of time scouring the internet looking for the advice you need.

3. Dr. Katie Cooper’s To Build Karma in Your Life: Plant Therapy (Hardie Grant, £ 16.99).

This book has been written by psychologist and plant lover Dr. Katie Cooper explaining how houseplants have the ability to be used as profound therapeutic instruments. By living with plants, she discusses how we can restore equilibrium in our lives, and introduces plants that can help us alleviate stress and strengthen our mental health. Great for when Christmas is over and we need some peace and quiet.

4. For nature lovers: by Frances Tophill, Rewild Your Garden (Quercus, £15).

Yeah, we all want to promote biodiversity — birds, bees and other pollinating insects — in our gardens, but how do we do that? With this practical, well-illustrated guide, Gardeners’ World presenter Frances Tophill makes it simple, a must for all gardeners who want to do their bit to protect wildlife and build a sustainable future.

5. Sissinghurst: The Dream Garden by Tim Richardson (Frances Lincoln, £ 30) for dream garden inspiration.

This beautiful coffee table book is for anyone who wants to recreate even a little of the legacy of Vita Sackville-West in their own garden, or simply understand how one of Britain’s most visited gardens, Sissinghurst in Kent, evokes a mood of romantic abandon. It includes splendid pictures, along with details of the plantings, of the rich tapestry of color in the many borders at different times of year, the Rose Garden, the White Garden, the Spring Garden and the Lime Walk, and other outstanding areas of design. Informative and encouraging – a great present for a holiday.

6. For those seeking a connection to nature: Monty Don’s My Garden World (Two Paths, £ 20).

In his garden in Longmeadow, his home in Herefordshire, and on his farm in Wales, the darling of the gardening world remembers and muses about his relation to wildlife. He describes in detail the birds he sees, the wild flowers that enchant him, and other wildlife he encounters; the sparrow hawks, the frogs, beetles, and ladybugs that are all part of his rich experience. It is both insightful and intimate, and when you read the chapter about his beloved golden retriever, Nigel, a regular at Gardeners’ World who died in May, there will not be a dry eye in the house.


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