If someone wants an idea of what to get you for Christmas, or if you are just looking for some summer holiday reading or something to peruse as you sit by the fire with a glass of mulled wine, depending which part of the world you live in, I hope these suggestions give you inspiration. Very hard to pick just five, but here we go….
1. An Hour in the Garden by Meredith Kirton
Interestingly, this was a present bought for me in the UK for my 32nd birthday, before I had heard of this Australian writer. My friends, Simon and Becky, must have had a premonition that I would move here! However, it is not country specific, just full of little jobs or creations you can make when you have an hour to spare. It’s a fabulous idea if you are new to gardening and feel time poor as each chapter gives simple but stunning, high impact, low time dependent ideas.
2. Velvet Pears by Susan Southam
Another gift, this time kindly given to me when I left Canberra. It is a visually stunning book, you just want to hold it and be enveloped by the gorgeous photography, the textured, soft, chunky hardback cover and the beautiful words inside. A story of the creation of ‘Foxglove Spires’, a large garden in rural New South Wales, it will inspire and warm you all at the same time. If this doesn’t make you want to rush out and plant something, nothing will! Thank you so much, Fiona.
3. The Living Garden by Jane Powers
If you like the idea of having an organic garden, but are not totally convinced by the whole thing, this is a lovely introduction to a ‘kinder’ way to garden, without being over-the-top green. It is a beautiful book (I need glossy photos!) covering everything from composting to attracting birds into your garden to suggestions for vegetables that cope with lower water requirements. The author is from Ireland, but most of the ideas are very applicable wherever you live.
4. Seasons in my house and garden by Holly Kerr Forsyth
Whenever I pick up this book I just want to move in to Holly’s house. Full of stunning photos of beautiful table decorations, pretty crockery, delicious food and vases of colour co-ordinated flowers, you quickly get sucked into the whole lifestyle it portrays. I am quite sure this is not day to day life for Holly much more than it is for you or me, but the photos can’t help but inspire you to make that extra effort to bring more beauty into your home in whatever way you can. A gift from my friend, Jo, these are such lovely presents.
5. DK RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design
With 360 pages packed full of photos, hints and tips you can’t fail to find something for your garden in here. It first takes you through the principles of garden design, then shows examples of 13 different garden styles, from cottage to modernist, and then gives practical advice on making the garden and choosing your plants. It is incredibly photograph rich, and yet has great quality text too. Easy to dip in and out of and applicable anywhere in the world, it’s an all round ‘ripper’, as they would say over here!
I’d absolutely love to hear of your favourite books for holiday reading – do comment below if you have one in mind.