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The Best Gardening Books to Read Now

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The best books for nurturing a green thumb

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Calling all gardening enthusiasts, here’s your ultimate reading list. From handy guides packed with practical tips to gardening memoirs and notes on the therapeutic and physical benefits, these are the best gardening books to read now.

The Best Gardening Books to Read Now

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Unearthed by Claire Ratinon

Unearthed by Claire Ratinon

A powerful memoir on race, roots and belonging, Claire Ratinon explores the theme of identity and connecting with nature. For Claire, the process of growing food has helped her come back to herself and has shown how she is woven into a tapestry of being  – connecting with the earth, the soil, and her ancestors. And it is through living in the English countryside and her vegetable patch, that has provided this enlightenment and her pathway back to nature. Here, she grows the food of Mauritius and explores stories of her heritage and the history of the island, and as such, strengthens the relationship to her homeland.

.When we speak of our origins, that which made us, we speak of our roots. We acknowledge how our identities are intertwined with land, whether it’s the one we are standing on or another we lay claim to.’ – Claire Ratinon

Chatto & Windus, £9.49, bookshop.org

The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith

The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith

Psychiatrist, psychotherapist and author of The Well Gardened Mind, Sue Stuart-Smith delves into the therapeutic benefits of gardening, and its relationship with mental health.

A Times and Sunday Times bestseller, the book explores the restorative power of the natural world through a combination of contemporary neuroscience and psychoanalysis, along with stories of how people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction have transformed their lives through gardening.

William Collins, £9.49, bookshop.org

Wild, The Naturalistic Garden by Noel Kingsbury with photography by Claire Takac

Wild: The Naturalistic Garden by Noel Kingsbury with photography by Claire Takacs

Nature-based planting with an eco-aware approach has grown in popularity, and this book by planting-design consultant, Noel Kingsbury, is the first comprehensive overview of this planting approach that reflects the move towards sustainability (as opposed to the manicured gardens of the past). Featuring over 40 gardens, there’s a perennial meadow in East Sussex to a private, drought-resistant garden in Australia with insightful text that’s set against beautiful photography by Claire Takacs.

Phaidon Press, £39.95, phaidon.com

The Complete Story of Gardening by Penelope Hobhouse

The Complete Story of Gardening by Penelope Hobhouse

Brought to you by garden designer and plantswoman, Penelope Hobhouse, this book charts the origins of gardening and its evolution over thousands of years. It highlights the world’s most magnificent gardens from The Gardens of Islam to The Medieval Gardens of Christendom and The Japanese Garden. Drawing on her experience, the title shows a range of style and techniques from all over the world and helps you to understand how modern gardens have developed. The Newt in Somerset has created a gift set containing the book, a 12-month Newt Garden membership, tools and seeds that’s ideal for gardening enthusiasts.

Pavilion, £205, thenewtinsomerset.com

RHS The Creative Gardener- Inspiration and Advice to Create the Space You Want by Adam Frost

RHS The Creative Gardener: Inspiration and Advice to Create the Space You Want by Adam Frost

BBC Gardener’s World presenter, Adam Frost shares his insight into small plantings, design, and simple landscaping tricks to transform your garden. Starting with the creative process there is clear step-by-step photography and instructions of more than 25 design-led projects, as well as a whole host of ideas and inspiration showing you how to use what you already have to suit varying tastes, spaces, and budgets.

Dorling Kindersley, £13.99, blackwells.co.uk

Grow Yourself Healthy by Beth Marshall

Grow Yourself Healthy by Beth Marshall

Combining gardening and health, this book by gut-health expert Beth Marshall is full of planting plans and probiotic recipes. It’ll help you to boost your immune system, manage an edible garden, and satisfy your gut microbiome explaining the science (in an accessible way) to highlight the benefits of fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers, and how to grow them, even in small spaces.

Frances Lincoln, £14.99, blackwells.co.uk

The Gardeners Palette by Jo Thompson

The Gardeners Palette by Jo Thompson

A brilliant guide to successfully incorporating colour in the home garden from award-winning garden designer, Jo Thompson, she shows you how to choose the right colour scheme for your garden, and the perfect plants for it. Using the Royal Horticultural Society’s industry-standard colour chip system, Thompson has created 100 palettes derived from existing gardens that help you to recreate the look.

Timber Press, £33.25, bookshop.org

The Complete Gardener by Monty Don

The Complete Gardener by Monty Don

A practical gardening guide by Monty Don, he shares his insight when it comes to growing fruits and vegetables, and it’s accompanied by in-depth crop-by-crop explanations, along with tried-and-tested varieties. He covers everything from planning the space and crop rotation to pruning fruit canes and staking peas.

 DK, £27.00, waterstones.com

Featured image: Photo taken from The Gardeners Palette by Jo Thompson