Five splendid books

Stuck for a gardening book? Here are our five favourite books to buy for Christmas or to spend those book vouchers from your uncle on. And pssst! it’s the last day to order before Christmas from Amazon…

The Bad-Tempered Gardener by Anne Wareham


I wish I’d read this book when I’d started gardening because it articulates perfectly every problem I have with the gardening world. Anne is at once funny, melancholy, thoughtful, naughty, grumpy and inspiring (in the true sense rather than impossibly intimidating), and the story of Veddw and her ascerbic thoughts on the gardening world makes perfect winter evening reading – although this isn’t a book that’ll leave you feeling warm and comfortable: you’ll be shaking your head in anger as much as you agree with what it argues.

£9.68, Amazon

Better Plant and Garden Photography by Philip Smith

This book teaches you to take technically brilliant and visually stunning snaps in your garden, whether close-up or across the whole sweep of the plot. There’s a full review here.

£9.99, Kew

Florescence: The World’s Most Beautiful Flowers by Clive Nichols


If you’re a fan of super-detailed macro photography of plants, then this book of plant portraits is perfect for your coffee table. Large and colourful, with beautiful, dramatic, delicate, bold studio shots of flowers by the internationally acclaimed photographer on every page, the book also has beautifully written portraits of each plant alongside the images.

£19.95, Amazon

The Smallest Kingdom by Mike & Liz Fraser


This is the perfect book for the plant collector, the obsessive, the gardener always in search of a rarer and rarer plant. It’s a fascinatingly detailed account of plants collected from South Africa’s Cape and the spread they have made across the world. Written as a proper academic history but illustrated with the most glorious botanical art, this is a heavyweight book that brings one of the richest contributors of flora and fauna to the gardening world to life.

£19.60, Amazon

A Taste of the Unexpected, Mark Diacono

This book is a book to return to over and over again: to dream over, the plot over, to snatch recipes, practical tips, marvellous photography and a smart sense of humour from. You might not grow every unusual plant that Mark recommends, but you’ll come away craving at least ten blue honeysuckles, or a carolina allspice, or a peach, or a quince, or an artichoke, or…

£10.40, Amazon



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