Daffodil: The remarkable story of the world’s most popular spring flower
Author: Noel Kingsbury
Photographer: Jo Whitworth
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-318-8

Daffodils are one of the most recognisable, most popular, and most widely revered flowers.  If you love daffodils and want to hear their story, then may I suggest a lovely book, Daffodil, which was written by Noel Kingsbury, and is illustrated with beautiful pictures taken by photographer, Jo Whitworth.

The Chinese Kitchen Garden: growing techniques and family recipes from a classic cuisine
By Wendy Kiang-Spray
Published by Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-677-6

If you’re making a list and checking it twice…..of all the interesting and exciting vegetables and crops that you hope to grow next year, then you might be interested to read The Chinese Kitchen Garden, a charming book, written by Wendy Kiang-Spray.

The Book of Orchids: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from Around the World.
By Professor Mark Chase, Dr Maarten Christenhusz, and Tom Mirenda
ISBN: 978-1-78240-403-3
Published by The Ivy Press

Comprised of six hundred and fifty-six pages and weighing in at 2.3kg, The Book of Orchids is a substantial book that’s jam packed full of interesting information about orchids!

The English Roses
By David Austin
Published by Conran Octopus
ISBN: 978-1-84091-751-2

This is the third edition of this book, The English Roses by David Austin, to be published, having been updated to include some of the new rose introductions that David Austin Roses have made since the first edition of this book was printed in 2005.

David Austin begins The English Roses by introducing the reader to the history of the rose and rose growing, focussing on the history, breeding, and development of the English Roses, acquainting the reader with some of the roses David used in part to breed the English Roses – the Gallicas, Damasks, and the Albas.  

Hedera The Complete Guide
by Hugh McAllister and Rosalyn Marshall
Published by the Royal Horticultural Society
ISBN: 978-1-90705-773-1

Could there be a more wonderful Christmas gift than a book about ivy?

Ivy is such a valuable garden plant, evergreen, hardy, and native to the UK, whatever your garden’s style, ivy can enhance it.  Hedera The Complete Guide, really is just that, a complete and wonderful guide to this fascinating plant genus. 

No Dig Organic Home & Garden:
Grow, Cook, Use & Store Your Harvest
By Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty
Published by Permanent Publications
ISBN: 978-1-85623-301-9

I have included the No Dig Organic Home & Garden book by Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty in my recommended 2017 Gifts for Gardeners article, as this is simply a great gardening book, which clearly explains the principles of the organic ‘no dig’ method of gardening.

Blue Ribbon Vegetable Gardening: The Secrets to Growing the Biggest and Best Prizewinning Produce
By Jodi Torpey
ISBN: 978-1-61212-394-3
Published by Storey Publishing

Blue Ribbon Vegetable Gardening begins with an introduction to the history of showing and exhibiting vegetables in America, noting how this area of horticulture has developed and changed over the years.  In the following chapter, tips on how to fully understand the show schedule, as well as tips that will ensure you present your vegetables at their best are given.

Gardening for Butterflies: How you can attract and protect beautiful, beneficial insects
The Xerces Society
ISBN: 978-1-60469-598-4

Published by Timber Press

I live in the UK.  I very much enjoyed reading Gardening for Butterflies, I found it very interesting to read about the butterfly species that live in America, their preferred nectar and larval host plants, and the challenges that these butterflies are facing.  

Gifts for Gardeners

I feel such an uplifting, happy sensation when I find the perfect gift.  I have been busy testing out products, searching for special gifts for gardeners.  Here are my recommendations:

Horticultural Society Membership

Membership of a horticultural society would make a super present.  There are many local gardening societies who meet regularly across Surrey, where you can learn about gardening and make new friends.  

Botanicum
Curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis
ISBN: 978-1-78370-394-4
Published by Big Picture Press/Bonnier Publishing

Please note – I make no apology for the frequency, or the extent of my gushing over Katie Scott and Kathy Willis’s book – Botanicum – I love this book, I hope you will love it too.

I sat back in sheer awe and wonder as I read Botanicum, this is a truly beautiful book,  filled with the most captivating and enchanting art work, which perfectly depicts the fascinating information about the plant kingdom that’s given in this special book.  

Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales, Easy Planting, Less Weeding, Early Harvests
By Craig LeHoullier
ISBN: 978-1-61212-614-2
Published by Storey Publishing

Craig LeHoulier outlines many useful considerations for straw bale gardening, in his book Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales.  From tips and advice to consider whilst you’re planning where to site your straw bales, to ideas on staking your plants, and even advice on how to improve the aesthetics of your straw bale garden.  

Building Raised Beds
By Fern Marshall Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-61212-616-6
Published by Storey Publishing

In some gardens or allotment sites, raised beds can be a necessity.  Whether you want to create raised beds to help improve drainage in areas prone to water logging, or to visually improve the appearance of your garden or allotment, I am sure that the Building Raised Beds by Fern Marshall Bradley will help you.

Gardening With Less Water – Low-Tech, Low-Cost Techniques – Use Up To 90% Less Water In Your Garden
By David A. Bainbridge
ISBN: 978-1-61212-582-4
Published by Storey Publishing

The author of Gardening With Less Water, David A. Bainbridge, has taken inspiration from a number of different irrigation techniques and methods that were used in ancient times; these historic techniques have formed the basis for David’s own research into the irrigation methods which feature in his book.  

High-Yield Vegetable Gardening: Grow More of What You Want in the Space You Have
By Colin McCrate and Brad Halm
ISBN: 978-1-61212-396-7
Published by Storey Publishing

“This book is for people who are intent on getting as much food as possible out of their gardens no matter the size of their plot”,  is how authors Colin McCrate and Brad Halm introduce High-Yield Vegetable Gardening.

Gifts for Gardeners

Giving a gift is such a special thing to do, if you’re buying a present that you’ve seen online or in the shops, it’s not easy to tell how useful, wonderful or lasting the gift will be in reality, when you haven’t tried it yourself.  With this in mind, I have sought out some super gift ideas, which I have reviewed and tested, so that you can hopefully find the perfect presents for your friends and family this Christmas.

The Cabaret of Plants Botany and the Imagination
By Richard Mabey
ISBN: 978-186-1976-62-8
Published by Profile Books

Throughout The Cabaret of Plants, Richard Mabey’s eloquent and detailed descriptions illuminate the beauty of the plant world for the reader. With reflections from Richard’s own lifetime of experiences of the plant world, together with references and information about the findings and studies of other botanical researchers through time, Richard Mabey has gathered together stories of interest and fascination to delight every reader.

Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces
By Stephen Woodhams
ISBN: 978-1-910254-02-8
Published by Jacqui Small LLP.

Stephen Woodhams is an award winning garden designer, he has over 25 years experience of designing gardens in the Mediterranean, the USA, the Middle East, Mauritius and in the UK, including two Gold, and three Silver Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces is Stephen’s latest book where he shares some of his most recent designs for outdoor living, featuring gardens from different countries and climates, together with advice to help the reader plan their outdoor living space.

The Crafted Garden 
By Louise Curley
Photography by Jason Ingram
ISBN: 978-0-7112-3629-5
Published by Frances Lincoln Limited

The Crafted Garden is a book full of ideas of flowers, seed pods, twigs, pinecones, and other lovely things, that you could find (and grow) in your garden or at your allotment, and use in simple craft projects.  The activities are arranged according to the season, to help you find craft ideas and inspiration for every time of year.  

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood
By Kathryn Aalto
ISBN: 978-1-60469-599-1
Published by Timber Press

Winnie-the-Pooh holds a special place in most of our hearts; the ‘silly old bear’ and his band of friends brought their own special, heart-warming charm to many of our childhoods, thanks to the stories of their adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood, written by A.A.