My Bookshelf

The following books are from my own personal bookshelf at home. They are books that I love and wanted to share with you. I hope this page inspires you to read them. If you want to purchase any of these books, can I suggest that you contact your local independent bookstore (support local!) to see if they have a copy.

I have not received any payments or sponsorship of any kind in relation to these recommendations. The books were either purchased by me or given to me as gifts from wonderful friends and family, who know my two passions in life are gardening and reading.

DOWN TO EARTH BY MONTY DON.heic
Down to Earth

Author: Monty Don

This is one of my all time favourites. The book is beautifully written with capturing photographs and a unique layout. It’s a brief insight into 50 years of gardening experience with tips and essential gardening knowledge. It covers many aspects of gardening and offers recommended jobs to be done in the garden month by month. 

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The Thrifty Gardener

Author: Alys Fowler

I think this book sums me up entirely. It was a real eye opener and it made so much sense to me that gardening should be “something you do, not something you buy”. The book has a great section on “skip-diving etiquette” which I love and a fantastic chapter on “No-Garden Gardening” which has some great suggestions for those of you who want to grow but don’t have a garden. The book itself is beautiful, in colour tones that just soothe. The whole book is very relaxed and will start to make you look at things and say “that would make an excellent pot for the garden”.

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Indoor Edible Garden

Author: Zia Allaway

I love to grow my own edibles and I haven’t always had a garden to do that in. This book has been and still remains to be an inspiration of what’s possible.

 

I urge everyone to try and grow something, chilli pepper, herbs, salad leaves, even root vegetables in your home, this book will show you how!

 

There are still some fantastic ideas I really want to try, like the Cucumbers on wheels...page 149!

 

WALKS IN THE WOODS PETER WOHLLEBEN.jpeg
Walks In The Wild

Author: Peter Wohlleben

Everything about this book entices me in.

The author of course, Peter Wohlleben author of the bestselling book The Hidden Life of Trees, which has also featured on our bookshelf. Peter's style of writing is simply enchanting and I was excited to read more.

 

I adore forests and woodlands, more so now that I'm a volunteer and trustee at an arboretum. There is something about being in that space that just feels comforting. This is not unusual, given what I've read this is a primal feeling going back to days when we would use these areas for protection and shelter so naturally we feel at home.

And after reading just a few pages, it really makes you want to get out and explore the magic of nature.

Even the jacket design and illustration by Two Associates is a triumph for me and I love the warm Autumnal orange of the book itself.

 

COMPOST BY KEN THOMPSON.heic
Compost

Author: Ken Thompson

Dirt is one of my many passions in the garden and there is nothing better than producing your own compost. Taking waste material and turning it into ‘black gold’ is something every gardener should be doing. This is a great book to get you started on your composting adventure, I refer back to it all the time, it really is a ‘celebration of compost’.

ALLOTMENT MONTH BY MONTH BY ALAN BUCKING
Allotment Month by Month

Author: Alan Buckingham

This is a fantastic comprehensive step by step guide for allotment growers. It covers everything from weather seasons, plot layouts and crop rotation.

 

It also includes a section on crop planning by product, which is a quick reference guide that I love to keep referring back to.

 

There is also a great trouble shooting section and occasional ‘must-try’ suggestions which are great fun.

VEG IN ONE BED BY HUW RICHARDS
Veg In One Bed

Author: Huw Richards

This book was a gift from my Secret Santa and it's so good.

It starts with the basics of how to make your raised bed and then how to start planning your planting. Full of great diagrams that show you month by month what will be in your raised bed and plenty of ideas about companion planting and successional sowing. It has detailed sections on what veg is best suited to cool climates, low rainfall and even options for low effort veg beds.

If like me you are the type to plan and organise your patch months ahead, this book is for you.

 

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Shinrin-Yoku

Author: Dr Qing Li

I’ve always loved being around trees. I enjoy walking amongst them, being emerced in the smells and noises. Feeling a sense of calm and relaxing underneath their canopy. 

 

But what I didn’t realise was that this was a practise and that there is science behind what I was feeling every time I stepped into a forest or woodland. This book is hugely fascinating for that aspect alone but it also offers insight into mental health and the dangers we face when we are unconnected from nature.

And you don't need to live near a forest or woodland, this is a practise that is accessible to everyone which you can do in a park.

The book is beautifully written and although there is a lot of science behind the research it's written in a way that is easy to digest and understand. 

It’s a fantastic read and I would highly recommend it. 

 

GARDENING ON A SHOESTRING BY ALEX MITCHE
Gardening on a Shoestring

Author: Alex Mitchell

I often joke that my entire life is just one big budget, so the very title of this book appealed to me enormously. The book is filled with tips and tricks to enable you to make the very most of what you have. Another of my passions is up-cycling and this book has some great suggestions, many of which I can testify actually work.

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES BY PETER WOHLLE
The Hidden Life of Trees

Author: peter wohlleben

I am fascinated by this book, I've read it many times. I enjoy the language and the poetry used to describe these living organisms that we have relied on throughout history and still continue to take advantage of. There is an entire other world beneath of our feet and we don't even realise it. I love that trees have a secret life and the author is able to share this in such a way that it almost seems magical.

I have read a couple of books by this author and I have a couple more on my bookshelf waiting to be read. There is something in the way that he describes the trees, that makes you want to get lost, both in the book and in nature.

 

My Roots By Monty Don.heic
My Roots

Author: Monty Don

Brilliant writing from Monty Don. This book is incredibly insightful and poetic.

The book covers a decade of gardening life taken from articles written for the Observer but laid out month by month. I love the structure of the book, it's a really interesting way of organising the collection.

A very fun and inspiring read. Something I can read over and over again, but equally as easy to pick up and flick to a passage to read for a daily dose of gardening wisdom.

 

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Witch’s Garden

Author: Sandra Lawrence

This was a surprise gift from my husband and it has to be one of my favourites. The book is a fascinating read and beautifully illustrated and confirms to me the power of plants. It was a joy reading about all the old folklore surrounding trees, plants and even the seasons.

 

I’ve learnt so much about the everyday plants that I grow such as basil and garlic and I’ve discovered properties they have that I didn’t know about before. I’ve learnt more about how plants were used in traditional medicines, the connect they have in astrology and all the secrets of stillroom, which was something I wasn’t familiar with and this year I’ve spent more time harvesting herbs from the garden and drying them, so this was an interesting chapter to delve into. For those of you who are thinking it’s a little too mystical for me, don’t be put off it’s actually an incredible read from a botanical point of view with a splash of folklore thrown in for those of us who are fascinated by all things magic!