Simon Griffiths, Thames & Hudson, $59.99
“A day without getting your hands in the soil or without reading books is a day wasted,” writes Simon Griffiths. Some of his photographs should surely win international prizes, the silhouetted grasses in winter, for example, which I’d love printed over an entire wall. He features 22 gardens, most of them in Victoria and belonging to friends and neighbours, because there’s nothing like an interesting garden to draw you into a clan. He has seven categories: plant collectors, vegetable growers, design lovers, romantics, native-plant fans, thrifty propagators, and the Cecil B. Demille contingent, bless their cotton socks. What would we do without individuals prepared to spend a king’s ransom and to toil night and day so as to put nature on display in all her glory? The gigantic Japanese maples at the gardens of Cloudehill arrived from Yokohama in 1928 and have been burgeoning ever since. Autumn is the best time to visit — I’ll be there.