PAGE-TURNING PICK OF THE
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.