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The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Life Gardening -

thinks the more we know about our plants, the bet­ter we will treat them and the bet­ter they will re­pay us. She fol­lows the fam­ily tree from wild spurge to Eu­phor­bia chara­cias; from but­ter­cup to Ra­nun­cu­lus ‘Flore Pleno’; from cow pars­ley to Ammi ma­jus, with his­tory facts and fables, and how to cul­ti­vate in be­tween, re­con­nect­ing us with the plants at the cen­tre of our universe. THE GAR­DENS OF VENICE AND THE VENETO by Jenny Condie (Frances Lin­coln, RRP £35, of­fer £31.50 + p&p). An art his­to­rian’s tour of 20 of the most fab­u­lous Vene­tian gar­dens – ex­plor­ing the his­tor­i­cal jour­ney from fish­er­men’s veg­etable plots to the­atri­cal plea­sure gar­dens – that are tes­ta­ment to the re­gion’s gar­den­ers, botanists and sculp­tors. Doc­u­mented with at­mo­spheric pho­tos by Alex Ram­say to record their in­her­ent fragility for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. THE MAN­UAL OF SEED SAV­ING by An­drea Heistinger (Tim­ber Press, RRP £25, of­fer £23 + p&p). With the EU plan­ning to reg­u­late the prop­a­ga­tion of all plant mat­ter, it is im­por­tant that am­a­teur gar­den­ers’ needs are not for­got­ten in the face of lob­by­ing by the agri­cul­tural seed in­dus­try. Be­ing able to save seed is key to lo­cal food pro­duc­tion. This book ex­plains how to har­vest, store and sow seeds, how to raise plants suited to your own grow­ing con­di­tions, and how to cul­ti­vate the best veg va­ri­eties in the most pro­duc­tive way. con­sider grow­ing your own. Lit­tle­wood also ex­am­ines the best ways to bring ex­ist­ing wood­land into pro­duc­tive man­age­ment and ex­plores the wildlife ben­e­fits. p&p). For all those who grow health-giv­ing veg­eta­bles, and try to do their best cook­ing them, this col­lec­tion is a must for any­one want­ing to give veg­eta­bles a star­ring role. It in­cludes sev­eral short es­says full of his­tory and anec­dote. Beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated, Kristin Per­ers’s pho­tos bring El­iz­a­beth David’s recipes to life again. EL­IZ­A­BETH DAVID ON VEG­ETA­BLES com­piled by Jill Nor­man (Quadrille, RRP £20, of­fer £18 + μ To or­der any of the above books at the Tele­graph Books of­fer price plus £1.35 postage and pack­ing, call 0844 871 1514 or go to books.tele­graph.co.uk BOB FLOW­ERDEW’S COM­PLETE FRUIT BOOK (Re­vised edi­tion from Kyle Cathie) The book I turn to when I need to know about fruit. It’s all there: in­for­ma­tion on se­lect­ing va­ri­eties, plant­ing, grow­ing, har­vest­ing and eat­ing. Bob knows it all. He’s the au­thor­ity on what’s worth grow­ing and how to get the best re­sults. A present for those who love the sheer in­dul­gence of grow­ing their own fruit, the plea­sures of for­ag­ing and the joys of dream­ing about grow­ing and eat­ing their own berries, or­chard fruits, cit­rus and nuts. In the same se­ries: Jekka McVicar on herbs and Matthew Biggs on veg­eta­bles. VIR­GINIA WOOLF’S GAR­DEN by Caro­line Zoob (Jac­qui Small, RRP £30, of­fer £26 + p&p). Em­broi­derer Caro­line Zoob was a ten­ant for the Na­tional Trust at Monk’s House for a decade, and looked af­ter the gar­den. The story of this mag­i­cal spot is re­told with quo­ta­tions from Woolf’s writ­ings and il­lus­trated with sump­tu­ous em­broi­dered gar­den plans and pho­tos by Caro­line Ar­ber.

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