Six top reads for creating great gardens
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.