If you’re still scratching your head as to what to do with your garden this year, whether trying veg in pots for the first time, creating a wildflower meadow or completely re-landscaping your outdoor space, there are new books which should provide you with plenty of ideas.
Here are just a few of the many gardening titles on offer this year:
n The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart (Timber Press, £14.99, May 2). This intoxicating and eclectic new book on the hidden botany behind your favourite booze would make a fabulous gift for gardeners who enjoy a tipple. The quirky guide explains the chemistry and botanical history of more than 150 species, showing how they form the bases of our favourite cocktails.
n Royal Horticultural Society Grow Your Own Crops In Pots by Kay Maguire (Mitchell Beazley, £16.99, available now). As growing your own fruit and veg continues to gain popularity, this book is one for people who perhaps don’t have room for a vegetable plot or who simply want to have a go at growing produce in pots on the patio, close to the kitchen. Featuring everything from bags of potatoes to grapes on the vine, and delicious combinations such as tomato with basil, the book guides the reader through techniques and tips, as well as advice for growing each type of fruit and veg.
n RHS Chelsea Flower Show: A Centenary Celebration by Brent Elliott (Frances Lincoln, £25, April 4). Chelsea Flower Show’s centenary couldn’t go without a commemorative book and this offering, by the RHS historian Brent Elliott, explores how the show evolved, how it has formed part of the social calendar, and how it has reflected and shaped tastes in garden design and planting over the years. There are short pieces by significant nurserymen and nurserywomen, designers, organisers, visitors and patrons describing what Chelsea means to them, with chapters on the early shows, shows between the wars and decade by decade to the present day. It’s illustrated with images drawn from the RHS Lindley Library archives, many of which are published here for the first time.
n Wild Flowers by Carol Klein (BBC Books, £20, February 28). Master plantswoman and Gardeners’ World presenter Carol Klein celebrates the most exquisite flora growing wild in our woodlands, hedgerows, meadows and moors in this book, and then returns to her own garden to see their cousins. This book sees Klein delving into the story of her 30 favourite wild flowers.