The Tired Gardener

Healing Through Growing

Books - Plants, Gardens and Gardeners

Interesting and inspiring books about plants, botanists, gardens and gardeners.

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RHS Botany for Gardeners: The Art and Science of Gardening Explained & Explored
ISBN-10: 1845338332

Don’t be put off by the idea that botany is something high falutin’, scientific and impenetrable. Once you have seen your tiny, dry seed burst through the compost and noticed that each seedling is as different as the seed that you sowed, you will have so many questions. Why does this plant have two seed leaves and that one looks like a single blade? Why didn’t that one grow at all when I looked after it so carefully? How did that bush get into my chimneystack?

This is another RHS book with glorious production values, explaining complex ideas in simple ways and in easily digestible sections, all with beautiful pictures. It’s a book to linger over on cold, wet days or when you really are too tired to do more than put your feet up and enjoy the natural world in paper form.


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Richard Mabey, The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination
ISBN-10: 1861979584
Cabaret sums this book up completely. Every chapter is different and offered a new Wow! Moment. It is a collection of absorbing and amazing essays about the incredible characters within the plant world and the humans whose lives have been shaped by them. From trees that are thousands of years old, to giant water lilies that can support a small child and inspired the engineers who built Crystal Palace. I loved every amazing minute of this book.


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Jeremy Naydler, Gardening as a Sacred Art
ISBN-13: 978-0863158346
My garden is a place I retreat to, a natural source of solace and peace, but also of burden and frustration at my inability to ‘keep on top’ of its demands. Unlike the beauty of the wilderness, there can be no garden without a gardener, creating a constant need for intervention, creativity and at times, sheer hard work.

Jeremy Naydler explores how our attitudes towards nature, gardens and our activity as gardeners have changed from the times of the earliest recorded gardens 5,000 or more years ago to the present day. He traces this path through ancient gardens, created as spaces within which the gods could walk, through the religious metaphors contained within Christian medieval gardens, to the domination of nature represented by formal Enlightenment gardens like Versailles. He finishes with the glorious expression of human creativity through gardens as art, seen in the work of Monet and Gertrude Jekyll.

This is a deeply thought-provoking and inspiring book for anyone who has felt the call of the divine in a garden.