Good Garden Books

This page is for some of the very best books about gardens. Ones which are likely to appeal to thinkingardens readers. They are not necessarily new but should be available somewhere in the great world web.

I welcome thinkinGardens reader’s recommendations – please send them to me at, with a short description of the book’s merits, and a link to you if you like..(or I can add your twitter profile)

Thanks to all who have, so generously. I will get them up asap.. The links take you to Amazon – either UK or USA.

And I will add further ones of my own as my time permits. (Maybe even my husband’s book…)

Gardens of Illusion thinkingardens

Gardens of Illusion by Sara Maitland (in USA see here) – written for those who are interested in gardens which are more than decorative or plant orientated. Written by a major writer.

Seeing Gardens by Sam Abell – images which will refresh your eyes and perhaps your garden and garden visiting. (USA)
The Garden Visitor’s Companion by Louisa Jones –  (USA) – what to look for and think about when visiting a garden.
Vista by Tim Richardson and Noel Kingsbury (USA) – essays on the culture and politics of gardens. Some a bit hard going, others excellent. ( – one by yours truly – in which category?!)
The Inward Garden by Julie Moir Messervy (USA) – looks a bit new agey but is an illuminating, serious way to experience gardens.

And don’t forget

The Bad Tempered Gardener by Anne Wareham – what can I say? People tell me they like it. (USA)

What Are Gardens For? by Rory Stuart – what to look for, think about and want when visiting gardens, with examples of garden reviews. (USA)

The Collector’s Garden by Ken Druse – ‘it’s a proper plant persons book, full of inspiration’ James Staples (this is a cheat because of plants but I’ve let Jim get away with it for now…) (USA)

 Yew and Non-Yew by James Bartholomew – ‘ I still laugh at this – stops me taking Haughti-culture too seriously.’ Colin Moat  (USA)

Secret Teachings Art of Japanese Gardens by David Slawson – ‘Lyrical, prescriptive, contains a translation of texts used by monks in medieval Japan.’  Diana May  (USA) 

Garden Inspiration by Dan Pearson – ‘This book contains beautiful writing and photographs; it is written from a very personal perspective that manages to resonate with the reader’s connection with their own gardens and landscapes.’  Alison Levey (USA) 

Education of a Gardener by Russell Page – ‘Garden’s equivalent of Flaubert’s Education Sentimentale.’  Marian Boswall  (and me. editor) (USA)

The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift – ‘Read with the owls hooting, may bugs bashing the windows. It evokes a feeling of place.’ Blair of Gardens in the Wild (USA)

This book was reviewed on thinkingardens here

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