Gardens, Books and Nurseries
There is so much available now, especially on the Web, but here are just a few of my favourite books and nurseries.
My mother gave me "The Reader's Digest Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants and Flowers" in the 1970s. It is the perfect book for anyone who is embarking on making a garden. The illustrated plant encyclopaedia is easy to navigate; the pages of plants for special purposes gave me the guidance I needed to plan my flower beds; there is clear advice on propagation and pruning; and finally a good section on common pests and diseases. My 1975 edition is battered, grubby, taped together and still in constant use. I love it.
"We made a garden" by Margery Fish must have been one of the first gardening books I read. She was a great plantswoman and advocated an informal style of cottage gardening. "We made a garden" describes how she created her famous garden between the 1930s and 1960s at East Lambrook Manor in Somerset. The garden and nursery are well worth a visit. East Lambrook Manor Gardens
Christopher Lloyd's writing makes me smile. All his books are fun, but why not start with "The Adventurous Gardener" (it includes great advice on taking cuttings which I re-read every year) or "The Well-Tempered Garden". Many of my first plants came from the nursery at Great Dixter in East Sussex. Great Dixter Gardens and Nursery
Beth Chatto's approach to gardening (the right plant for the right place), her gardens and her books about gardening for specific conditions (dry, damp, gravel, woodland) are truly inspirational. The Beth Chatto website is definitely worth looking at, but do try to visit her wonderful gardens in Essex. Beth Chatto Gardens and Nursery
Books by John Brookes helped me to plan my garden especially "The Country Garden". His garden (Denmans) in Sussex is another great place for ideas. Denmans Garden
Bob Brown's nursery "Cotswold Garden Flowers" stocks a large number of unusual perennials. The catalogue is an interesting read. Cotswold Garden Flowers
Finally I recommend the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)- a fantastic source of information. I have been a member for many years. RHS gardens, such as Wisley and Rosemoor, are worth visiting at any time of year. RHS
I have used "Ideas Genie" garden software to make my own Plant Database. The software is simple to use, but help is readily available if you get stuck. Plants can be selected and copied into your list from a Master Database so you don't have to type everything yourself. I have created plant lists for all my garden areas, so now it is easy to keep track of what I have.....and what I have lost. Ideas Genie"