Gardening Books
Moosey's Country Garden
West Melton, New Zealand

When gardeners aren't gardening they're usually to be found reading gardening books. This is affectionately known as "having a break" from the real business of gardening.

Plant dictionaries make good bedtime reading, gardening magazines are great for morning tea at work, and we all know that rose books make the perfect romantic read - well, the photos certainly do. Organic gardening tomes make us feel good and green, and are a good foil to those depressingly beautiful colour-themed books.
My Favourite Gardening Books

Famous gardeners tell us all their gardening secrets, we get to read and memorise deep and meaningful gardening quotes, and most of all our gardening dreams are nurtured and fertilised by reading about other gardens

Here are my own favourite garden books, a select list of books that have stood the test of time for me. I'll only lend them to my closest gardening friend, and they'll never be dusty and forgotten.

Botanica's RosesBotanica's Roses...
Tue 25th Jun 2002
There are very many roses of all shapes and sizes, and there are very many rose books to accompany them all. Botanica's is my favourite reference rose book.
Colour by DesignColour by Design...
Thu 20th Jun 2002
I don't think a list of favourite gardening books can possible miss Colour by Design out. This book is amazing, if slightly daunting, for a gardener of random design habits.
David Austin's English RosesDavid Austin's English Roses...
Tue 25th Jun 2002
Oops - yet another rose book high on the list of my alltime favourite books. I'm a great lover of the David Austin 'English' roses, and they grow well in my garden, so this book is a must-have.
Mon 23rd Feb 2004
There are lots of tempting foliage garden books - this one simply called Foliage, with its striped canna leaf cover, was a Christmas present a few years back. I like it very much.
Gardens of PlentyGardens of Plenty...
Wed 24th Dec 2003
I know there are plenty of potager books, but this one, titled 'Potagers of Plenty' is an excellent read.
The No-Work GardenThe No-Work Garden...
Wed 12th Nov 2003
Bob Flowerdew might just be a legend in his home country of England. His books are very popular in New Zealand, even though we don't know him as a personality.
Old Fashioned RosesOld Fashioned Roses...
Tue 25th Jun 2002
Barbara Lea Taylor is a legend in New Zealand garden writing. She gives so much life and personality to the roses she writes about in her books that you want to meet them.
Planting CompanionsPlanting Companions...
Mon 1st Jul 2002
This is a good book about plants and their combinations in the garden, which I go back to many times for inspiration and ideas.
Special PlantsSpecial Plants...
Tue 2nd Jul 2002
In keeping with its title, Special Plants is a very special gardening book.
Beth Chatto's Gravel GardenBeth Chatto's Gravel Garden...
Thu 15th Apr 2004
I love the beginning chapters of Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden. It gives me great hope for sensible gardeners who take notice of their climate. This great English gardener is really in touch with earth and weather - I wonder if I could ever be as successful as her?
Gardening with GrassesGardening with Grasses...
Thu 15th Apr 2004
Gardening with grasses seems to me a most sensible type of garden style - so much so that I can never understand why anyone wouldn't have thought of it. Of course people should garden with grasses. So this book really appealed when I first saw it.
Trees and ShrubsTrees and Shrubs...
Sat 1st May 2004
I keep under-rating the shrubs in my garden, but I still use this big, heavy Botanica's Trees and Shrubs book a lot. I also have the pocket sized edition, which is easy to carry around.
Wed 5th May 2004
Lavender is a wonderful shrub to grow in the garden, and this specialist book will amaze novice gardeners with the number of varieties available.
Nancy Tichbourne's FlowersNancy Tichbourne's Flowers...
Wed 11th Oct 2006
Forgive me for writing a review about an older book - I picked up this beauty in a second hand book sale. This New Zealand artist and gardener chooses two of the most perfect subjects to paint - cats and flowers.
Sat 28th Apr 2007
I once visited a Banks Peninsula headland garden whose gardener was in love with Hebes. She claimed to have one in flower for every single week of the year. Since then I've been watching out for books about Hebes.
Diarmuid Gavin - Outer SpacesDiarmuid Gavin - Outer Spaces...
Tue 10th Jul 2007
Oh dear. It's difficult for me to describe Diarmuid Gavin's book without getting into trouble. You see, I thoroughly enjoyed it, without actually liking a single garden idea enough to copy in my own garden. Am I that traditional? Eek!
Larnach Castle GardenLarnach Castle Garden...
Mon 24th Dec 2007
Wow! The very first gardening library book which speaks so forcefully and personally that I want my very own copy. And there's more - I want to send copies of The Garden at Larnach Castle to all my gardening friends!
Essential Gertrude JekyllEssential Gertrude Jekyll...
Tue 12th Feb 2008
As a colonial gardener I've always known about the great Gertrude Jekyll, without having read any of her writings. I've vaguely associated her with planting herbaceous borders with drifts of perennials, and hating the colour magenta.
Alan Titchmarsh's Favourite GardensAlan Titchmarsh's Favourite Gardens...
Fri 6th Mar 2009
Do I like reading about other people's favourite gardens? Sometimes, sometimes not - it depends on how strong the Moosey ego is at the time. But Alan Titchmarsh's book of his English (and Scottish) favourites has turned into a winner.
The Gardens at KewThe Gardens at Kew...
Thu 16th Apr 2009
Great excitement - a huge library book on Kew Gardens in London, to commemorate a huge anniversary (the 250th), with huge photographs. I've been to Kew - just once. I'm bound to recognise everything...

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