Go wild in the park! Our critic picks her pick of the year’s best books for nature lovers

RHS: How to grow plants from seed by Sophie Collins and Melissa Mabett (Mitchell Beasley £12.99, 144 pages)


RHS: How do plants grow from seed

by Sophie Collins and Melissa Mabet (Mitchell Beasley £12.99, 144 pages)

This small and comprehensive guide on how to fill your garden with plants grown from scratch describes watching seeds grow as “everyday magic.”

When covering flowers, vegetables and herbs, there are good tips on sowing techniques, the most effective way to protect seedlings from slugs, making biodegradable pots and collecting seeds.

Tropical plants and how we like them

by Marianne Wellborn (Cole Springs £20, 208 p.)

Tropical plants such as bananas, cannas, dahlias, and ginger lilies are all popular today. But how do you create an exotic garden without a greenhouse in which to grow your plants during the winter? This engaging book shows how to do just that, and provides excellent advice for anyone wanting to give their garden a tropical touch.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE: A ROYAL GARDEN by Claire Masset (Royal Collection £16.95, 120 pp)

BUCKINGHAM PALACE: A ROYAL GARDEN by Claire Masset (Royal Collection £16.95, 120 pp)

Buckingham Palace: Royal Garden

by Claire Masset (Royal Collection £16.95, 120 pages)

The 39-acre garden in Buckingham Palace, London’s largest private garden, has a fascinating history that reflects the royalty who lived there.

Today, the park is a biodiversity hotspot, is home to rare orchids, beehives, more than 50 species of birds, and houses the national collection of berries. This beautifully illustrated book brings the garden and its story to life.

Agriculture for wildlife

by Jane Moore (Quadrill £12, 144 pages)

The encouraging message from this book is that you don’t need to make huge changes to make your garden a magnet for wildlife. Filled with advice on growing birds and insects, and why being a frivolous gardener is a virtue, he conveys his message with enthusiasm. A treasure trove of information for anyone wishing to make their garden more wildlife friendly.

THE JUNGLE GARDEN by Philip Ostenbrink (Filbert £25, 224 pp)

THE JUNGLE GARDEN by Philip Ostenbrink (Filbert £25, 224 pp)

jungle garden

by Philip Oostenbrink (Filbert £25, 224 pp)

In most gardens, foliage is second only to flowers, however, leaf plants, especially those with large and abundant leaves, can be used to great effect.

Oostenbrink, former master gardener at Canterbury Cathedral, shows how jungle foliage can make outdoor spaces look great all year round. This book can change the way you garden.

The complete gardener

by Monty Don (Dorling Kindersley £27, 448 pp)

This extensively updated edition of Monty Don’s 2003 book reflects our greater understanding of the importance of nurturing and encouraging wildlife.

BBC Gardeners’ World fans will also get an insight into how his garden at Longmeadow has evolved. The book is packed with sound, practical advice and anecdotes from the country’s most admired gardener.

A Year Full of Flowers by Sarah Raven (Bloomsbury £25, 384 pp)

A Year Full of Flowers by Sarah Raven (Bloomsbury £25, 384 pp)

A year full of flowers

by Sarah Raven (Bloomsbury £25, 384 pages)

Who among us has not dreamed of a garden full of flowers all year round? In this account of 12 months in her Sussex garden, Sarah Raven reveals how to achieve “waves of color” even in the depths of winter, using often difficult-to-grow plants that are often raised from seed. the pictures are wonderful.


by Naomi Slade (Suite £25, 240 pages)

Long considered a symbol of purity and mourning, lilies are among the most beautiful and fragrant of flowers. This lavishly illustrated book showcases over 50 of the best, from pure white Casa Blanca and Apricot African Queen to Sorbonne pink and dark red mascara. They may look strange but lilies are easy to grow, even in containers.

Trust National School of Horticulture

by Rebecca Bevan (National Trust £20, 272 pages)

THE FLOWER YARD by Arthur Parkinson (Kyle £22, 208 pp)

THE FLOWER YARD by Arthur Parkinson (Kyle £22, 208 pp)

Drawing on the knowledge of 500 National Trust professional gardeners, this comprehensive guide covers flower borders, lawns, shrubs, trees, fruits and vegetables, growing under glass, and sustainable gardening. A useful book for anyone who wants to increase their experience in the field of gardening.

flower square

by Arthur Parkinson (Kyle £22, 208 p.)

Aimed at people who grow gardens in the smallest of spaces, this relies heavily on the author’s own small garden, crammed with pots full of flowers.

During the seasons, he explains how to plant for maximum effect, from spring pots of tulips and wall flowers to towering containers of dahlias, sunflowers, and late summer glades.

To buy any book on these pages For a 10% discount visit www. or Call 020 3176 2937

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