Lazy Susan's favourite gardening books of 2022

If you’re looking for a gift for that special green-thumbed someone or just a gift to yourself, then these are Lazy Susan's favourite gardening books of 2022…

Here at Lazy Susan, we love our gardens, and we love kicking back on our garden chairs with a good book in the summer. So, it makes perfect sense that we love a good gardening book too!

This year has seen some wonderful new titles published and we wanted to share some of our favourite gardening books of 2022 with a top ten run down.

A lot of our focus this year has been on sustainability, and we’ve published a number of articles that explored how we can make our gardens more environmentally friendly.

That is also reflected in this list with some great titles from Frances Tophill, Darryl Moore, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Jack Wallington, Marian Boswall and Jason Ingram.

Our top 10 gardening books from 2022

If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for that special green-thumbed someone or maybe just a gift to yourself, then there were some great books published this year that get a big green thumbs up from the Lazy Susan team.

1. The Modern Gardener by Frances Tophill

Here at Lazy Susan, we’re big fans of Frances, and we’ve proudly (sort of) worked with her before when we supplied two garden benches for ITV’s Love Your Garden.

Not just a gifted horticulturalist, Frances is fast becoming the new face of TV gardening and The Modern Gardener showcases her practical approach to gardening creatively, productively and sustainably. 

As she puts it: 

“We no longer just want to garden, we want to engage with the land; the plants in it, the animals, insects and even the fungi. The Modern Gardener isn't just about creating a space that simply looks visually stunning, but about encouraging wildlife, reducing our carbon footprint and making our outdoor and indoor space more useful in all areas of our lives.” 

Here at Lazy Susan, we’ve found this book particularly helpful in choosing what to grow in our own garden in 2023. Plus, there’s loads of great info on how to best design your plot and some fab plant-based recipes that we’re all looking forward to trying too. 

Available from Waterstones for £22.

2. Gardens For The Soul by Sara Bird and Dan Duchars

Gardens For The Soul is a fascinating look at sustainable and stylish outdoor spaces that has really fired our imagination.

It explores a host of ways we can create and style our outdoor spaces to suit our lifestyles and the synopsis for the book categorises them as: 

“Day Dreamers seek solitude and a therapeutic experience, and Home Harvesters use their garden space to grow flowers or fruit and veg; while Garden Partiers put their outside space to work as an entertaining zone for friends and family and Great Escapers aim to recreate a chilled holiday vibe at home.” 

Sara and Dan visited real-life gardens that fall into each of these categories, from tiny patios to larger spaces, to glean ideas, tips and inspiration. 

As with the team here at Lazy Susan, much of the focus is on sustainability and reclaimed materials, and there are some wonderful suggestions on how to choose garden décor such as outdoor lighting and garden furniture.

This is a book that shows us that an eco-friendly ethos can be at the heart of creating a beautiful well-designed garden.

Available from Blackwells for £20.

3. From Seed To Bloom by Milli Proust

From Seed to Bloom is another of those books that struck a chord with a number of the team here at Lazy Susan. As a business, we operate to a seasonal calendar and many of the posts we publish tackle things on a season-by-season basis.

When it comes to floristry, Milli’s book also does just that by offering a modern and practical guide to growing and styling your own floral arrangements.

It covers 26 stunning projects and Milli takes you through the seasons and discusses the best plants to grow and how you can subsequently style them. 

A review by Carolyn Asome in the New York Times Style Magazine said the following about From Seed To Bloom: 

"Through determination and a commitment to no-till farming, Proust has transformed the landscape into a paradise of vegetation -- and created a thriving floral design business in the process."

Each chapter showcases what’s best to grow in each season and there are some helpful tips on how to sow, grow and harvest. 

We loved Milli’s personal stories from her own plot and many of the team have been inspired to tackle our own projects. After all, a good floral display makes the perfect garden table centrepiece.

Available from Milli's Shop for £20.

4. Gardening In A Changing World by Darryl Moore

We’ve been advocating for a while about taking a critical look at our relationship with what we plant in light of the current climate crisis, and a move to greater native planting was something we highlighted only recently in our favourite eco-friendly plants article. 

Gardening In A Changing World takes a comprehensive look at the plants, people and the climate crisis by exploring the science behind sustainable ways of engaging with the natural world. 

An award-winning landscape designer and writer, much of Daryl’s professional focus is on contemporary garden design and planting, so he understands how our gardens can be better for both us and the planet.

The synopsis for Gardening In A Changing world defines this as:

“Recent developments in horticulture and plant science show us that we need to rethink our attitude to plants beyond purely aesthetic concerns, and to adopt more holistic approaches to how we design, inhabit and enjoy our gardens. He looks at the history of garden design, to show how we got to where we are today, and recommends ways of changing to new principles of sustainable ecological horticulture.”

This book has been a real eye-opener for Lazy Susan and it is rightly challenging conventional horticulture and highlighting more eco-conscious ways we can grow and design our outdoor spaces.

Available from WH Smith for £18.40.

5. English Garden Eccentrics by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

We love eccentricity, it should be celebrated, and garden design in this country has certainly walked that fine line between genius and madness. 

From miniature mountains and shaped topiaries to exotic animals and excavated caves, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan’s English Garden Eccentrics celebrates some of horticulture's most colourful characters:

“In his new book, English Garden Eccentrics, renowned landscape architect and historian Todd Longstaffe-Gowan reveals a series of obscure and eccentric English garden-makers who, between the early seventeenth and the early twentieth centuries, created intensely personal and idiosyncratic gardens. They include such fascinating characters as the superstitious antiquary William Stukeley and the animal- and bird-loving Lady Read, as well as the celebrated master of Vauxhall Gardens, Jonathan Tyers, who created at his home at Denbies one of the gloomiest and most perverse anti-pleasure gardens in Georgian England.”

This is a wonderful book that shows us that we can still learn much from the gardeners of the past 300 years who dared to be different and changed the rules.

Available from Amazon UK for £22.

6. A Greener Life by Jack Wallington

If want to build a better relationship with nature, then A Greener Life is a great book to help set you on the path to discovering the joy of mindful and sustainable gardening. 

Jack’s book is packed full of inspirational photos and practical tips, that tackle everything from garden planning to organic composting, and after reading we were inspired to write our top sustainable gardening tips and ideas article.

The Garden magazine from the RHS said that A Greener Life is: 

“Conversational, interesting, and personal... It reaffirms the link between what we love to do and why we should be doing it with nature, the planet and our health in mind.”

It clearly explains self-sufficient gardening techniques such as propagating and it highlights some of the wonderful plants that will help you attract wildlife.

Jack's warmth and knowledge are packed into every page, and this is the perfect book for those seeking to start their eco-gardening journey.

Available from Jack's Shop for £19.99.

7. RHS Garden Bridgewater by The Royal Horticultural Society and Phil McCann

A list of our favourite gardening books of the year would simply be incomplete without a publication from The Royal Horticultural Society, and 2022 is no different with its wonderful study of the gardens at RHS Bridgewater.

A companion piece to the successful BBC TV series of the same name, the book offers a comprehensive guide to one of Europe's largest and most ambitious gardening projects.

Our personal favourite part is the magnificent 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, which showcases a host of growing techniques and edible plant species.

A visit to RHS Bridgewater is a must but, for those further afield, the book offers a wonderful glimpse at all things Bridgewater and as the synopsis puts it:

“Guided by a masterplan from the renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, it is a showpiece of horticultural excellence with a rich array of attractions, from walled gardens and Chinese streamside features to aromatic kitchen gardens and verdant wooded areas, all placed at the heart of the community.”

The book charts Bridgewater’s glory years of royal visits to the site's sad decline into disrepair and the subsequent restoration project and development of the gardens into the jewel in Salford's crown they are today.

We love the beautiful illustrations and this book provides a fab peak behind the curtain into how the garden has become an integral and inspirational part of the local community.

Available from the RHS shop for £32.

8. Sustainable Garden by Marian Boswall and Jason Ingram

Much like the aforementioned A Greener Life, this is another book we definitely recommend to those unsure of where to begin when it comes to making more eco-conscious gardening decisions. 

It was shortlisted for the GMG Garden Book of the Year and is the perfect book for those looking to design and create a sustainable garden from scratch. The blurb on the back cover describes it as:

“A stylish, inspirational and practical guidebook to maintaining a more environmentally friendly outdoor space. Sustainable gardener Marian Boswall walks us through the process of creating and maintaining a sustainable outdoor space, offering tips, guidance and step-by-step projects designed to help you lead a more low-impact lifestyle. Whether it's by harnessing natural energy, converting to peat-free compost, reducing your consumption of plastic, saving seeds or creating garden areas from reclaimed materials, there are numerous ways - both big and small - to make a difference.”

It covers every aspect of the garden, from how to create a space and draw up a plan, to advice on boundaries and fences, and guidance on how to ethically source materials to make sure your garden is as environmentally sound as it is beautiful. 

Where Marion and Jason’s book differs from Jack’s (we must again stress both are excellent) is that it also contains several easy-to-follow projects with instructions on how you can replicate in your own plot. 

Our favourite project was the Lawn Spiral, whereby you plant a beautiful, textured swirl of pollinator-friendly flowering grass to significantly reduce mowing time and save energy.

Available from World of Books for £12.99.

9. What to Sow, Grow and Do by Benjamin Pope

Another book shortlisted by the GMG, this time in their Practical Book of the Year category, is What to Sow, Grow and Do by Benjamin Pope. 

This seasonal garden guide is one of those books that is a cert on becoming an indispensable companion for planning the year ahead in your garden. 

As a leading garden designer and TV presenter Adam Frost puts it:

“Ben not only has an innate understanding of how to grow, he knows how to draw the best from every season, and I think this book will quickly become an insightful gardening friend.”

It shows you what to do at the right time of year to ensure your garden is full of life and colour all year round and it is packed with wonderful projects, advice, task lists and ideas to help you efficiently plan your time. 

Whether you are a seasoned horticulturalist or are just starting on your gardening journey, What To So Grown & Do is guaranteed to inspire you to plant more and nurture a deeper relationship with your garden. 

Available from for £16.49.

10. Take It Outside by Melissa Brasier, James DeSantis and Garrett Magee

Technically this one came out in December 2021 but it was published a little too close to Christmas to make last year's list, and we absolutely love this book, so it makes it for 2022. 

It is a little different to the rest of the books on our list but here at Lazy Susan, we are big advocates for applying interior design principles to our outdoor spaces. 

You’ll find this philosophy and approach in many of our design-orientated articles. Think interior design with paths, plants and garden tables rather than flooring, coffee tables and sofas.

The book has been lovingly created by the US team behind Bravo TV's Backyard Envy, which we haven’t seen but that doesn’t matter, as the book is a wonderful read that features some truly inspirational photography.

The team of Mel Brasier, Garrett Magee, and James DeSantis, who own Manscapers landscaping company have been dubbed the “plantfluencers” by the New York Times for their keen eye and design-led approach.

They have a really down-to-earth style that the Lazy Susan team all loved and their step-by-step design plans are super easy to follow. 

Whilst the book itself has a beautiful coffee table look/feel, it is definitely one we will be revisiting on the regular for inspiration.

Available from Amazon UK for £22.75.

If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan furniture in your garden, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].

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