You may not feel like starting gardening jobs in the middle of winter, but there are plenty of books which will provide the inspiration you need as the year progresses.
Don’t miss these gardening books to give you the knowledge you’ll need to start growing, whether you just have a tiny balcony garden or a huge allotment, or simply want to make sure your houseplants survive.
1. You Grow, Gurl! Plant Kween’s Lush Guide To Growing Your Garden by Christopher Griffin
Six years ago, Christopher Griffin was just beginning the plant parenthood journey with one small Marble Queen pothos. Today, this black queer non-binary femme plant influencer known as Plant Kween tends to a family of more than 200 plants in their Brooklyn apartment.
Griffin now brings us this gorgeous illustrated guide to becoming a plant parent and keeping your green ‘gurls’ growing, with practical instructions and advice on everything from propagating and re-potting, to measuring humidity. Featuring more than 200 pictures and illustration, looking after plants teaches you to apply the same attention and love to yourself, they say.
2. The Joy Of Weeds by Paul Farrell
Many experts are now saying that we need to love weeds, that they encourage biodiversity, attract pollinators and can actually be beautiful. Paul Farrell takes this idea a step further with this colourful celebration of wild plants around the world.
The illustrator and nature lover explains the benefits of rewilding ourselves a little. In his 50 graphic illustrations he shows us the beauty of dandelions, thistles and feverfew and offers a quirky history on how weeds can be used in medicine, food, cooking and arts – as well as being an important aid for wildlife.
3. Joe’s Expert Gardening Guide by Joe Swift
Popular gardening presenter and designer Joe Swift brings budding horticulturists a series of five easy-to-follow guides to different aspects of gardening, from indoor plants and small gardens to creating a modern space, a nature garden and an edible garden.
These books are ideal if you want plenty of pictures to show you techniques as well as inspirational design ideas no matter what the size or location of your green space.
4. The Vertical Veg Guide To Container Gardening by Mark Ridsdill Smith
Looking for new ways with containers but don’t have much space? You could try planting vertically, says Mark Ridsdill Smith, who founded Vertical Veg (verticalveg.org.uk) in 2009 after discovering how much food he could grow on the balcony of his flat.
Through his eight steps to container-growing success – including matching crops to how much sun your space has, choosing the right container, spacing, watering and feeding – he can help people with little space to grow everything from French beans to tomatoes, courgettes and soft fruits in containers. Even balconies can be bountiful, he proves.
5. Skills For Growing by Charles Dowding
If you want to save on hard work and enjoy the biggest harvests, then bag a copy of gardening expert, YouTube presenter and ‘no dig’ advocate Charles Dowding’s latest guide for successful vegetable growing.
With an aim to save you time but not at the expense of success, he shows grow-your-own enthusiasts how to create planting plans, implement succession planting, save seed, propagate and multi-sow. He also sheds light on how to garden in winter and grow perennial vegetables.
6. Green Living Made Easy by Nancy Birtwhistle
You may remember Nancy Birtwhistle as the winner of Bake Off in 2014 but she is also a keen amateur gardener and a dab hand at doing her bit for the planet, which is where this book comes from.
In it, she offers 101 useful tips and ideas to help you live a more eco-friendly life without giving up on home comforts. Included in the book are her tips on growing from cuttings, repotting, splitting plants and making the most of edibles including basil and strawberries. Of course, your harvests can also be put to good use in the selection of recipes which she features in the book.