Six top reads for cre­at­ing great gar­dens

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - YOUR HOME -

As the weather cools down, you can warm up in­doors with a crop of new gar­den­ing books to in­spire you.

You may be prun­ing, tidy­ing up, clip­ping hedges or rak­ing leaves as au­tumn ar­rives and you start to bat­ten the hatches, but spare some time to look for ideas to help you plan for the com­ing sea­son.

Plant Love by Alys Fowler Kyle, £18.99 Don’t let your house­plants wilt and fade away. You have all the ad­vice you need from BBC Gar­den­ers’ World pre­sen­ter Alys Fowler on a plethora of plants from aloes to dragon plants, jas­mine, spi­der plants, cac­tis and yuc­cas, whether they need sun or shade, how much wa­ter­ing, how to di­vide them and in­crease your stock, how of­ten to re­pot and what may make them strag­gly. Use this book and you shouldn’t have a with­er­ing house­plant in sight. The Liv­ing Jig­saw by Val Bourne Royal Botanic Gar­dens, £20 In­sect lovers and wildlife fans should lap up this in­for­ma­tive tome from award-win­ning gar­den writer Val Bourne, who ex­plains the im­por­tance of the balance of na­ture and how to man­age your gar­den for wildlife. She shows how ben­e­fi­cial in­sects and preda­tors are in­ter­de­pen­dent parts of the same food chain, whether it’s thrushes and snails, or hedge­hogs and bee­tles, or aphids and la­dy­birds. The in­sect pho­tog­ra­phy of lacewing eggs and lar­vae, la­dy­bird lar­vae, scor­pion flies, preda­tory mites eat­ing aphids and hov­er­fly eggs and lar­vae is a de­light and will help gar­den­ers to iden­tify their in­sects and un­der­stand their in­di­vid­ual roles.

Down To Earth by Monty Don DK, £17.99, out Oc­to­ber 5 The BBC Gar­den­ers’ World favourite shares 50 years of his gar­den­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with read­ers in this easy-to-digest gar­den­ing book, which cov­ers myr­iad sub­jects in­clud­ing shrubs, con­tain­ers, pests and com­post, to grow­ing your own ed­i­bles and use­ful point­ers on what to do in each month of the year. In his gen­tle, easy way, he en­cour­ages gar­den­ers to coax the best from their plot and how to de­light in the process.

The Well-Tended Peren­nial Gar­den by Tracy DiSa­bato-Aust Timber, £25 This re­vised and ex­panded guide to plant­ing and prun­ing tech­niques was pub­lished ear­lier this year but is time­less in its sage ad­vice, in all mat­ters rang­ing from bed prepa­ra­tion and de­sign, to prun­ing, cut­ting back and pre­par­ing for win­ter, grow­ing in­for­ma­tion on new species and cul­ti­vars, plus a use­ful guide to perennials and their re­quired main­te­nance at the back – and all-new pho­tog­ra­phy.

RHS En­cy­clo­pe­dia Of Gar­den De­sign, editor in chief Chris Young DK, £30 What­ever the size of your gar­den space, and whether start­ing with a blank can­vas or re­new­ing an ex­ist­ing gar­den, this in-depth man­ual offers fresh, achiev­able ideas. Grasp the fun­da­men­tals of gar­den de­sign; dis­cover a style that’s right for you; cre­ate the struc­tures and plant­ing schemes to bring your ideas to life. This re­vised edition fea­tures up­dated im­ages and in­for­ma­tion to re­flect chang­ing prac­tices, new trends, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns and the lat­est reg­u­la­tions.

Happy House­plants by An­gela Staehling Chron­i­cle, £10.99 Again on the sub­ject of house­plants, be­cause we’re get­ting into that sea­son, this vis­ually happy guide to grow­ing 30 varieties of house­plants in­cludes stepby-step care in­struc­tions and would make an ideal gift – per­haps with a house­plant.

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