Here at Lazy Susan we’re avid readers. The main office at HQ has a substantial collection of reading material. And at a guess I’d say 70% of them are garden books.
Garden books are inspiration for us. I suppose I’m a bit of a Bibliophile too. But books help the Lazy Susan team and I keep our fingers on the pulse of our industry, and they definitely help to drive our product development etc.
In fact, our love for gardening and the outdoors is big factor in our decision to sell garden furniture in the first place.
As I’ve said many times before, no good garden design is complete without good garden furniture. However, it is garden design that drives us to create furniture that will enhance our outdoor spaces. They go hand in hand.
There’s been some great garden books published of late, and we haven’t done a garden books article for a while. But I want to keep this one current too.
So this article is our top garden books from the last 6 months or so. Definitely nothing pre 2017, with many of them the ones we’ve just put down, and most published in the last 3 or 4 months.
These are our latest must buy garden books…
Lucy Bellamy is the former primary school teacher who trained in horticulture with the Royal Horticultural Society, and is now an acclaimed garden designer and writer.
And on a side note, she was also contestant on the forth series of the always excellent Great British Bake Off.
‘Brilliant and Wild: A Garden from Scratch in a Year’ is one of those garden books that will provide even the most inexperienced of gardener with the know-how to create a beautiful wildlife-friendly garden. From scratch. And in just one year.
Award-winning photographer, Jason Ingram, followed Lucy over the course of a year, as she created the garden shown in the book for her sister.
The photography is fantastic and what Lucy creates is truly stunning. The step-by-step instructions are easy follow. Plus, it’s definitely refreshing to see a book that focused on creating a garden that’ll bloom in months, and be fully established within 1 year.
I also really liked the way Lucy went into great detail to describe the best plants to create a ‘Brilliant and Wild’ garden. Why you should grow them, their size, wildlife benefits and what goes well with them etc.
Overall a great book for the keen novice gardener like myself. Here at Lazy Susan we found it a great source of inspiration, and several of the recommendations as to the best species to plant have been adopted by some of us in our own gardens.
This is another garden book big on that ‘I’ word again – Inspiration!
It starts by looking closely at Selina’s main sources of inspiration – famous gardens, nurseries and garden centres, plant catalogues and botanical prints.
Armed with this, the book them moves on to look at how to go about decorating your garden. It is packed with suggestions for container gardening and how to introduce decorative features and garden art to your outdoor space.
This is a book that is full with styling ideas and simple projects.
And much like ‘Brilliant and Wild’, there’s some great tips on choosing easy-to-grow garden plants and even growing your own fruit and veg.
What I really liked about Garden Style is that it really works for those of us who might have neglected our outdoor spaces. That need a little help to see the potential in their plot unloved plot. Something I have definitely been guilty of over the years
This is the garden book I think we’ll give to all our new starters.
Packed with information for those who want to understand gardening, how you start thinking about creating your own outdoor space, but without overwhelming with you too much detail.
The RHS guide you through the surprisingly simple steps to creating a garden, showing you the basics to getting your green space under control, and keeping it that way.
With their unrivalled expertise, the RHS give simple step by step instructions, with clear images to help you build your dream garden, no matter the size and scale.
Its not one for the more experienced gardener, but it is a great garden book to get those with no experience up to speed.
Anyone who loves garden books and their own garden knows that there’s something happening in nature every day of the year.
Whether it’s the first crocus of spring, summer’s explosion of colours, autumn’s harvest, or the dormancy of winter, there is always something new to appreciate.
This stunning day by day book offers 365 photos of some of the world’s most beautiful gardens, following their yearly cycle of growth.
Each photo is accompanied by engaging texts such as planting tips, design techniques, natural history, and botanical facts that provide both ideas and helpful information.
In addition, and this is bit that really won me over, there’s space on each page where you can write down your own daily observations from your garden.
It makes it more of a keepsake, more personal. Not just one for the novice gardener, it can become a lovely journal for gardeners of all levels of expertise.
I’m a big advocate of the less is more philosophy, especially when it comes to garden design. I like my outdoor space, simple, and easy to maintain.
When it comes to gardens, bigger isn’t always better. A larger space requires more plants, more furniture, more maintenance, and more time.
A smallerspace takes less time to design, install, and care for and makes it easierfor gardeners to take advantage of every square foot of space.
This book is great at showing you how to take advantage of a small plot. There’s dozens of savvy tips on how to add your personal touch to your garden, and how to create a garden that fits your lifestyle, something which Lazy Susan is a big advocate of.
The tips are supplemented by some stunning photography, which shows a variety of successful garden designs from around the UK.
For me, this is a book that is perfect for those of you who want to create a unique garden that is family friendly, and most importantly, low maintenance.
What came through to us loud and clear when reading this book, is Joanne Palmisano’s passion for reusing and recycling in home decor.
Be it reclaimed, repurposed, recycled, salvaged or antique, she knows how to turn an old piece of junk into a stunning decorative item.
Styling with Salvage provides an aspirational-but-achievable plan for all who wish to bring some of this character, style and soul into their own homes.
It contains some great tips on how you can design with salvage, and plenty of inspiration on how to style and display all that hard work.
Again, it’s the ‘I’ word, but this book is sure to inspire everyone who picks it up to reclaim their homes with reclaimed materials.
Sally Coulthard has written many home and garden books, and she is a firm favourite among the Lazy Susan team. Her books have covered everything from home restoration to garden buildings and eco-living.
Some of our favourite titles include Shed Chic, The Reclaimers, Restored to Glory and the excellent How to Detox your Home. And, alongside her writing career, she restores period properties for a living. So Sally knows what she’s writing about!
‘Gardenalia’ is a term she’s created to cover all forms of garden decor. Making use of garden antiques, architectural salvage, repurposed furniture, car boot sale finds and other collectibles to decorate your outdoor space.
It’s not a how-to book as such, and again there’s a theme with all the books on our list, but it’s more about inspiring us to use things in the garden that we might not think of.
There’s a great section on how to source “found objects” and making the best use of decorative items such as antique garden furniture, old stone troughs, vintage garden tools, distressed terra-cotta pots, and more.
Overall, a great book, full of beautiful pictures and helpful ideas. This is another one that really got the Lazy Susan team thinking.
Following a similar theme to Sally’s book above, Upcycling Outdoors is another garden book that helps you to transform what might first appear to be unwanted junk into unique and creative garden designs.
Written by designer, up cycler and all-round entrepreneur, Max McMurdo, this inspirational collection of inventive projects will help you to build practical garden decor from recycled materials and unwanted old junk.
If you’ve ever wanted to create a fire pit from old bike wheels, or construct a potting shed from some old vintage doors, then this is the book for you.
Max provides some invaluable know-how on the right tools, techniques and materials you need to tackle each of the 20 projects he features in the book.
At Lazy Susan, we’re big fans of recycling and upcycling. Of course we would encourage people to buy new garden furniture, but we know that upcycling and recycling can bring hours of pleasure and unique personal design touch to your garden.
Some of the projects involve only a few simple steps, while others will take a weekend of outdoor activity. But something that’s good for the environment and fun to do, win win in our book!