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Between 1715 and 1750, a group of politicans and poets, farmers and businessmen, heiresses and landowners began to experiment with the phenomenon that was to become the English landscape garden. Arguably the greatest British art form ever invented, these gardens were built to charm and delight, to shock and inspire all who visited. That these gardens - including Castle Howard, Stowe, Painshill and Rousham - are still so popular with visitors today is a testament to the innovation and passion of this extraordinary group of eccentrics and visionaries.
The Arcadian Friends takes a highly engaging perspective on the politics and culture of England during the Enlightenment. At the same time it will be required reading for the legions of fans of the great gardens of England.
Tim Richardson introduces us to a period of poltical and personal intrigue, where fantastic biblical landscapes competed for space with temples to sexual freedom; and where the installation of a water feature was a political act. The Arcadian Friends tells the story of a collection of fascinating characters whose influence changed the landscape of Britain for ever.
What happens when you relocate to the perfect house, in the perfect village in Provence, and nearly ten years later the shine has gone? Garden designer Alex Dingwall-Main is facing lavender fatigue, strife at home, neighbourly warfare and non-paying business clients. He is on the verge of packing his bags and starting all over again, back in England.
Until one Spring day he is offered an opportunity by a wealthy and very grateful client; a treasure hunt for 12 bottles of exquisite French wine. It would be a journey through the country's finest vineyards, chateaux and villages. With a hangover and an uncertain heart, Alex decides to give it one more try and sets off in search of the France he fell in love with so many years ago. The people, the gardens and the wine that he encounters make for an adventurous and beautiful summer, and life-changing decisions are reached...
Published: 4 Aug 2005
From a gardener who has been working on his allotment for over 50 years, a brilliant guide to organic vegetable growing and allotment life in general. Month by month Terry give us:
An overview of the plot
Things to do this month
What to watch out for
Key crops for the month
Progress reports on all the standard veg
Top variety tips
Main tasks for the month
With all the charm that shone through My Life on a Hillside Allotment, Terry takes the gardening reader by the hand and leads them through the gardening year. He is the perfect companion, giving technical help, quick tips, reassurance, and plenty of entertainment along the way.
With enough money-saving tips to banish the budgetary blues for good, these collected hints and tips from Channel 4’s Supercrimpers show us all how to be more clever with our cash.
Why waste money when you can have new for nothing? Rediscover the thrill of thrift with our clever tips and ideas to help you have the lifestyle you want without it costing the earth.
These days it’s hip to be thrifty and we’ve looked to the superscrimping skills of yesteryear to find hints and tips to remind us all of the nation’s fine tradition of resourcefulness.
And you’ll find brand new ideas for chic-on-the-cheap fashion, handy homes, beauty, DIY and more that will put some glamour into your life without emptying your pockets.
Proving frugal can be fun, join our proud penny-pinching revolution and learn how to live well for less!
Published: 9 May 2013
SHORTLISTED FOR INSPIRATIONAL BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE 2014 GARDEN MEDIA GUILD AWARDS.
The wonderfully evocative story of how Britain’s World War Two gardeners – with great ingenuity, invincible good humour and extraordinary fortitude – dug for victory on home turf.
A Green and Pleasant Land tells the intriguing and inspiring story of how Britain's wartime government encouraged and cajoled its citizens to grow their own fruit and vegetables. As the Second World War began in earnest and a whole nation listened to wireless broadcasts, dug holes for Anderson shelters, counted their coupons and made do and mended, so too were they instructed to ‘Dig for Victory’.
Ordinary people, as well as gardening experts, rose to the challenge: gardens, scrubland, allotments and even public parks were soon helping to feed a nation deprived of fresh produce. As Ursula Buchan reveals, this practical contribution to the Home Front was tackled with thrifty ingenuity, grumbling humour and extraordinary fortitude. The simple act of turning over soil and tending new plants became important psychologically for a population under constant threat of bombing and even invasion. Gardening reminded people that their country and its more innocent and insular pursuits were worth fighting for. Gardening in wartime Britain was a part of the fight for freedom.
A. K. Davidson (Author)
The Zen gardens of Japan are places in which to meditate. They can be anything from a landscaped garden, complete with waterfalls, to a bed of raked pebbles. This ancient way of gardening goes back to the Zen Buddhist priest-gardeners of the thirteenth century. Based on abstract compositions, relying on simplicity and suggestion, their gardens were designed to liberate the imagination, while providing a starting point in the appreciation of everyday things.
Zen Gardening is the first handbook to examine the concepts and techniques that make up this garden art and to apply them to the West. It explains the historical relationship between Zen and the development of gardens, and gives practical suggestions for the creation of a Zen garden at home. The chapters on the garden components and their adaptation for the West, principles of design, and construction work, are illustrated with over 150 line drawings. Step by step they show us how to make the most of corners of large gardens, of plots not large enough for lawns and flower beds, or of awkward passageways, alleys and terraces.
The principles of Zen gardening are particularly relevant in our crowded conurbations. Keir Davidson's thoughtful and practical approach enables us to maximize our garden space and to create areas of calm in our own immediate environment. Without precedent in the West, his book will be a source of delight to gardeners of every persuasion.
People all over the world know of the system of 38 flower remedies discovered by Dr.Bach. It is a system so gentle that remedies can be given even to new-born babies with perfect safety. It does not react with other medicines, so that therapists who specialize in other treatments often use it as a complement to their main techniques. Its focus on the emotions makes it a natural partner to the more physically- orientated approaches of most orthodox and non-orthodox medical traditions. And above all it is effective - which is why the use of this system has spread via personal recommendation and word of mouth from one small corner of Oxfordshire to more than 66 countries around the world.
It is somewhat less well known that the remedies can be used just as effectively to help plants.
Drawing on the experiences of practitioners and correspondents from around the world the author shows just how the remedies can raise the vibrations of plants with the most wonderful results. Readers will come to see the remedies as vital aids to holistic gardening - as essential as any mulch or compost.
This the story of how, over the course of a year, Alys, the Guardian gardening writer, learns how to keep bees; and Steve, the urban beekeeper, learns how to plant a pollinator-friendly garden.
Part beautifully designed coffee-table book, part manifesto, this collection of engaging letters, emails, texts, recipes, notes and glorious photos creates a record of the trials, tribulations, rewards and joys of working with, rather than against, nature. And along the way, you will pick up a wealth of advice, tips and ideas for growing food and keeping pollinators well fed.
Letters to a Beekeeper is for lazy gardeners, novice beekeepers and everyone in between. It is the best rule-breaking, wildlife-friendly, guerilla, urban gardening, insect-identifying, honey-tasting, wax-dripping, epistolary how-to book you could ever hope to own.
Richard Taylor, author of the best-selling How to Read a Church, joins forces with garden historian Andrew Eburne to produce the ultimate guide to historic and modern gardens.
Gardens are amongst the fastest-growing visitor attractions today - in the UK alone 15 million people will visit a garden this year. How to Read an English Garden is the essential book for every garden lover. It provides an account of the different elements of gardens of all ages and explains their meaning and their history: here, you'll find the answer to such questions as: when were tulips introduced into our gardens, and what was 'tulip-mania'? What is a knot-garden, and what was the origin of its design? Who was 'Capability' Brown, and how did he get his name? Why are mazes such a common feature in English garden design? In addition, the book explains how lawns, flowerbeds, trees and ponds came to be a feature not just of grand houses but of gardens everywhere. Among the many subjects covered are: garden design, plant introductions and collectors, kitchen gardens, water gardens, and garden styles from around the world: English, American, Chinese and Moorish to name just a few.
Clearly laid out and beautifully illustrated, How to Read an English Garden brings historic and modern gardens to life: a book to accompany garden visitors everywhere, or to be enjoyed and dipped into at home.
With a foreword by Wayne Hemingway MBE and an introduction by Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, Style Council brings together an inspirational and eclectic selection of interiors from a generation of homeowners who are redefining the status of local-authority architecture.
From covetable apartments in hip Brutalist high-rises to rural cottages with roses around the door, Style Council peeks behind the curtains of the often unappreciated former council home, into the lives of the creative and resourceful people who live there. The homes featured are unique, yet bound by an upcycling ethos, an innate sense of style and the triumph of dash over cash.
Style Council is an essential sourcebook and a goody-bag of ideas for anyone wanting to do up their home – ex-council or not – in style.
The book features 15 homes across the UK, with full-colour interior photography by Sarah Cuttle.
A fascinating history of Britain's plant biodiversity and a unique account of how our garden landscape has been transformed over 1000 years, from 200 species of plant in the year 1000 to the astonishing variety of plants we can all see today. Thousands of plants have been introduced into Britain since 1066 by travellers, warriors, explorers and plant hunters - plants that we now take for granted such as rhododendron from the Far East, gladiolus from Africa and exotic plants like the monkey puzzle tree from Chile.
Both a plant history and a useful reference book, Maggie Campbell-Culver has researched the provenance and often strange histories of many of the thousands of plants, exploring the quirky and sometimes rude nature of the plants, giving them a personality all of their own and setting them in their social context.
The text is supported by beautiful contemporary paintings and modern photographs in 2 x 8 pp colour sections.
Given the extent of his influence on 17th-century life, and his lasting impact on the British landscape it is remarkable that no book has been written before about John Evelyn. He was a longstanding friend of Samuel Pepys (who wrote of him, ' A most excellent person he is, and must be allowed a little for conceitedness; but he may well be so, being a man so much above others.'), a founder-member of the Royal Society and a prolific writer and diarist. He was an early advocate of the garden city but his most important work was Sylva: a Discourse of Forest Trees. Sylva was presented to the Royal Society to promote the planting of timber trees 'for the supply of the Navy, the employment and advantage of the poor as well as the ornamenting of the nation.' He was responsible for the first great raft of tree-planting and for a great influx of tree introductions to Britain.
Maggie Campbell-Culver's book, like Sylva, has at its core a section detailing the characteristics, history and uses of 33 trees incorporating the advice Evelyn gave and demonstrating its relevance still in the 20th-century. Not only was Evelyn probably the first horticultural writer to show an appreciation of the aesthetic benefits of trees in our landscape, he is shown to be a founder-father of the modern conservation movement.
This manual for the modern man is a brilliantly witty, honest and down-to-earth guide, which tells you all the things your best friend can't.
Drawing on centuries of male wisdom, it covers every conceivable situation, including:
- How to hit a bullseye in darts
- Know your beef
- What to look for in a second hand car
- Essential DIY tips
- How to organise a stag do
- How to give yourself a number one cut
The perfect gift for any man who has ever struggled to tie a perfect tie or fix a U-bend.
Do gentlemen wear shorts? What are the rules regarding interior decor in a high-security prison? Is it ever acceptable to send Valentine's cards to one's pets?
The twenty-first century is an age of innumerable social conundrums. Around every corner lies a potential faux pas waiting to happen. But if you've ever struggled for the right response to an unwelcome gift or floundered for conversation at the dinner party from hell, fear not: help is at hand.
In Rules for Modern Life, Sir David Tang, resident agony uncle at the Financial Times, delivers a satirical masterclass in navigating the social niceties of modern life. Whether you're unsure of the etiquette of doggy bags or wondering whether a massage room in your second home would be de trop, Sir David has the answer to all your social anxieties - and much more besides.
Published: 5 Apr 2007
Published: 2 Oct 2003
If you yearn to watch blackbirds feeding their young, and butterflies flitting amongst the flowers but you don't have the space for a meadow or want to give your whole garden over to nature, don't despair: with just a few clever tricks you can bring the countryside and its residents to your garden, even in the most urban of locations.
Encouraging a little wildlife into your garden can bring a lot of benefits for the gardener. Having a wildlife-friendly garden isn't just about letting nature do its thing so that you can enjoy watching it from your window or the patio, it has a far more important contribution to make. Let nature do the hard work of gardening for you: ladybirds and blue tits will make short work of aphids, while birds, bats and hedgehogs will feast on larger insects. It's biological control at its best; leaving you more time to sit in your deck chair and listen to the dawn chorus of the birds, the croaking of frogs, and the nighttime grunting of visiting hedgehogs.
If the natural look of a wildlife garden isn't your thing, you'll be pleased to know that even the most modern, minimalist garden can include features which will bring in wildlife without cramping your style. In this book, the team at Gardeners' World Magazine bring you tips and advice on simple ways in which you can create a haven for wildlife - whatever your garden style.
Exotic Planting for Adventurous Gardeners is about the most exciting plants grown by Christopher Lloyd in his garden at Great Dixter in East Sussex. The great plantsman tells the story of his Exotic Garden, which has delighted, and sometimes shocked, summer visitors since it replaced the Edwardian rose garden nearly fifteen years ago.
The rose garden, designed by Edward Lutyens, had remained unchanged for nearly eighty years. Then, in 1993, much to the horror of many establishment figures, Lloyd asked his newly appointed head gardener Fergus Garrett to eliminate the roses. 'The noise of tearing old rose roots as they were being exhumed', he writes, 'was music to my ears.' And then the fun began: the bold foliage of palms was combined with handsome cut-leaved sumach and arching New Zealand flax; statuesque cannas and bright dahlias, threaded with mauve verbena and infilled with annual climbers, added dazzling colour from June until the first frosts, and the whole feeling created was one of being wrapped in a voluptuous living community.
For everyone who loves reading Christopher Lloyd, Exotic Planting for Adventurous Gardeners is an unexpected bonus. His last and most adventurous work was almost complete at the time of his death in 2006 and, having lived a long life helping other people, a handful of his gardening friends gladly picked up the reigns. Among them are the novelist Frank Ronan who has taken overall responsibility for completing the text, and Anna Pavord who contributes an opening chapter on exotic gardens in history.
Illustrated with hundreds of photographs by Jonathan Buckley, Exotic Planting for Adventurous Gardeners both inspires and instructs. Few gardeners will be able to resist Lloyd's call to 'do something outlandish, to splash out, and be freer than ever'.
Published: 4 Oct 2007
Tom Hart Dyke has a bit of a thing about plants. You might call it an obsession. You might call him certifiable, in fact. But it's a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large ramshackle country estate and an obsession with plant collecting could want for only one thing - in Tom's case it's a walled garden containing examples of plants collected from every corner of the globe.
Tom's infectious enthusiasm for anything with chlorophyll in it and the hugely ambitious World Garden project he has undertaken at his family home, Lullingstone Castle, in Kent have been documented in a 12-part television series for BBC 2. The first six parts (Save Lullingstone Castle) were shown in spring 2006, and the second six episodes (Return to Lullingstone Castle) in spring 2007 to coincide with hardback publication.
Tom's attempts to set up the World Garden aren't exactly straightforward. You might imagine, for example, that the easiest way to start preparing the ground inside the walled Elizabethan garden which he transforms into the main part of the world garden would be to enlist the help of a few people and a lot of hard digging. Well not for Tom, who enlists instead two large pigs, who do indeed do a great job of turning over the earth and fertilising it with great organic manure. But the problem is that they keep escaping into the Hart Dyke family burial plot next door where they start digging up Tom's ancestors...
The World Garden is created to bring together a truly amazing collection of plants from every continent and so to show the global origins of the plants we all grow in our gardens. It's already establishing itself as a tourist attraction of some note as well as an educational resource.
This is a book for all those who bought Tim Smit's Lost Gardens of Heligan. It's stuffed full of fascinating botanical information as well as the story of Tom's hapless struggle to overcome huge logistical nightmares. It's a riveting, hilarious story of English eccentricity in full bloom.