Green Capital Gardening Blog: Part 22 (Gifts for gardeners)

This is your guide to all things gardening related throughout the Green Capital year. Each month our resident blogger will share tips on how to get started with food growing, and where to find projects and community gardens in your area. You'll discover that gardening isn’t just a summer time hobby but something that can be done 52 weeks of the year!

Photo: Alinute Silzeviciute

What should you get for the gardener in your life this Christmas?

I am often asked this question, by gardeners both new and old, and my answer is generally that a book is a really good choice.

There are gardening books a plenty but I thought it might be good to highlight a few here that are by fairly local authors, so here we go:

Mark Diacono’s "The New Kitchen Garden" was published earlier in the year and is a really inspirational book that looks at how people are growing food in very different places and ways, while talking about what can be grown and how.

Mark is based in North Devon, and his work is in direct response to climate change.

He focusses on crops that can be grown in our changing climate and the book is full of new and exciting crops such as yukon and oca, as well as stories of people growing food in community spaces and gardens.

It’s an excellent book and would be well received I am very sure.

Lia Leendertz, who lives and works in Bristol, is best known for her garden writing in the broadsheets, but this year she published a great book called "My Tiny Veg Plot", which looks at people growing food in tiny spaces across cities.

It is inspirational reading in that it makes you realise that even the tiniest of spaces can be both productive and beautiful

For a gardener with minimal space and maximum enthusiasm it is a must read.

Moving away from food growing, Georgie Newbery recently released "Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers”

A book of great beauty, it also tells tale of life at Common Farm Flowers in deepest Somerset, where glorious British flowers are grown for at least ten months of the year.

These flowers are then turned into stunning creations by the team and sent out across the UK and to weddings. 

You do not need to be growing for weddings to read and learn from this book as it basically takes you through the seasons and helps to decide what to grow.

A must have for any budding flower grower.

For the more serious food grower in your life, might I suggest any of Charles Dowding’s wonderfully written and informative books on no-dig gardening. 

This is based around constant soil improvement as methods of both weed control and plant nutrition.

Charles grows salads and vegetables near Bruton in Somerset and has toiled on the land for many years, so his knowledge is quite extraordinary.

His latest book, "How to Create a New Vegetable Garden" is as relevant for experienced gardeners as it is for new.