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Book Reviews / Critiques de livres

We welcome reviews of books on garden, plant or related topics. Please send reviews of books you have enjoyed (in English or in French) to Marjorie Orr.

Nous acceptons des critiques de livres sur le jardinage, les plantes ou sur d’autres sujets semblables. Veuillez envoyer vos critiques de livres que vous avez appréciés (en anglais ou français), à Marjorie Orr.

Latest review:

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Gardening with Drought-Friendly Plants
Tony Hall
Kew Publishing 2020
Read the review by David Bracey

Le nouvel esprit des Jardins

Louisa Jones
Hachette Livres Pratiques 1998

Pour chacun de dix beaux jardins contemporains Louisa Jones révèle quels étaient les enjeux, les souhaits et les moyens mis en œuvre pour les réaliser. Elle décrypte les couleurs, les éléments architecturaux, la palette végétale

This book is in the MGF Library
Read the review by Joanna Millar

The Garden Wanderer

Julie Kinney
Margaret River Press 2016

Julie Kinney of MGi association Mediterranean Gardening Margaret River has chosen 20 gardens to illustrate the garden wealth of her own particular corner of Western Australia.

Read the review by Trevor Nottle

Gardens of Corfu

Rachel Weaving
Impress 2018

Magnificently illustrated and a delight to read, this first-ever book on Corfu’s gardens focuses entirely on private gardens, which range from romantic old estates and highly personal ‘grandmothers’ gardens’ to stunning contemporary works by international designers. Rich with stories about the gardens and their creation, the text brims with insights into the island’s unusual social and natural history.

Read the review by Liz Godfrey

The Essential Garden Design Workbook – Second edition

Rosemary Alexander
Timber Press 2009

Rosemary Alexander, founder and principal of the English Gardening School, has updated this classic design handbook with many suggestions to help improve the garden’s ecosystems. The explanatory drawings are a delight.

This book is in the MGF Library
Read the review by Anthony Daniels

Gardening with Less Water

David A. Bainbridge
Storey 2015

Inspired by an ancient Chinese technique, the author has produced a handyman’s guide to inventive, low-cost, super-efficient watering systems.

Read the review by Michèle Bailey

Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden

Beth Chatto
Frances Lincoln 2000

The story of how Beth Chatto created a gravel garden on the site of a former car park alongside her nursery and garden near Colchester, Essex.

Read the review by Joanna Millar

Planting Design for Dry Gardens

Olivier Filippi
Filbert Press 2016

This English translation of Alternatives au Gazon, is sub-titled ‘Beautiful, resilient groundcovers for terraces, paved area, gravel and other alternative to the lawn.’ His drought-tolerant low-level plant combinations redefine the distinction between lawn and flowerbeds. The plant section includes over 200 grasses, groundcovers, perennials and wild flowers that will thrive amongst gravel and stone.

Read the review by Alec Cobb & Rosie Peddle

White Beech

Germaine Greer Greer
Bloomsbury 2014

In this book the author describes her efforts to restore ecologically some 150 acres of a former dairy farm, partly heavily forested, in south-east Queensland, Australia.

Read the review by David Bracey

Gardening with Drought-Friendly Plants

Tony Hall
Kew Publishing 2020

This guide to plants suited to the hotter, drier summers brought by the changing climate is written by Tony Hall of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Tony profiles more than 200 plant species and cultivars suitable for a variety of garden situations.

This book is in the MGF Library
Read the review by David Bracey

Indigenous Plant Palettes: an essential guide to plant selection

Marijke Honig
Quivertree 2014

This comprehensive, well-illustrated guide is sure to become every South African gardener’s bible. It includes an extensive plant directory, covering all of the 440 plants mentioned, with magnificent photographs and succinct yet full descriptions of each plant.

Read the review by Marianne Alexander

The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Johanna Silver
Timber Press 2016

Ruth Bancroft is a dry gardening pioneer. Her lifelong love of plants led to the creation of one of the most acclaimed public gardens, The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California. The Bold Dry Garden offers unparalleled access to the garden and the extraordinary woman responsible for it.

Read the review by David Bracey

The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession

Andrea Wulf
William Heinemann 2008

This book tells us, in loving detail and with considerable gossip, about some key early plantsmen, the intrepid collectors, the importers and the famous early botanists who contributed so much to the gardens we know today.

Read the review by Joanna Millar

Les orchidées en Camargue

Stéphan Arnassant et Francis Dabonneville
Zerynthia 2006

Cette brochure d’une vingtaine de pages est destinée aux amateurs sérieux d’orchidées. Ils y trouveront une carte montrant la localisation détaillée des espèces poussant en Camargue….lire le suite par David Bracey ici.

Read the review by David Bracey

The Land Where Lemons Grow

Helena Attlee
Particular Books 2014

This fascinating book covers many subjects including travel, history, botany, economics, the inevitable recipes and of course, oranges and lemons.

“The book I pressed on friends more than any other this year.”
Tom Stoppard, The Times Literary Supplement

Read the review by David Bracey

Mesembs of the World

Steven Hammer et al.
Briza Publications 1998

A collective work by the world specialists in Mesembryantemaceae. In 400 pages and with over 700 high-quality colour photographs, it reveals the magical charm of these plants, as surprising as they are sublime.

Read the review by Michel Gautier

Bulbs of the Eastern Mediterranean

Oron Peri
Alpine Garden Society 2015

The Eastern Mediterranean countries offer a rich and varied bulbous flora. In this field guide more than 400 species are illustrated, making it an essential reference work for everyone with an interest in bulbous plants.

Read the review by Trevor Nottle

Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Western Mediterranean

Chris Thorogood
Kew Publications 2016

The most comprehensive and up-to-date plant identification guide to an area which is one of the most important regions in the world for its outstanding biodiversity, boasting over 10,000 plant species.

Read the review by Rosie Peddle