Country houses, veggie patches, and creating a sanctuary in the city : it’s all about the garden!

We’ve been combing through the new books on gardening, gardens and enjoying them – here are our picks! Come in and check them out, or reserve them online in time for the Christmas break. Discover projects for your backyard, beautiful gardens, and tips for recycling and reusing materials creatively. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverThe Kiwi backyard handbook / Justin Newcombe.
“More than any other people in the world, Kiwis live their lives in the backyard. Whether it’s a quarter acre or a tiny patch of lawn, or if you aspire to a burgeoning veggie garden and a few chooks or to relaxing by a palm-edged pool, a good spot for your barbecue is always a must. The Kiwi Backyard Handbook is an essential if you’re planning a garden makeover. It contains 25 easy but impressive projects with step-by-step photographs to stir up your creativity, along with a wealth of good advice to get you started.  Justin Newcombe is a professional landscape gardener and a DIY guru, and will show you how to turn your backyard into your dream oasis.” (

Syndetics book coverGertrude Jekyll and the country house garden / Judith B. Tankard.
“This is a grand project, mining the archives of Country Life to select a 150 images that exemplify the work of England’s extraordinarily gifted and influential designer, Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1942). Tankard is a seasoned landscape historian who taught at Harvard for 20 years and has written extensively in her field. The text thoroughly supports the visual presentation, offering readers in-depth understanding of Jekyll’s projects, innovations, and approach.”Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (”

Syndetics book coverThe Little Veggie Patch Co. : how to grow food in small spaces / Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember.
“Lots of Fun packed full of all the information you’ll need (plus some hilarious tips and stories from the little Veggie Patch boys own experience along the way), this colourful guide is for anyone interested in growing their own food.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome ground : sanctuary in the city / Dan Pearson ; photography by Howard Sooley.
“Dan Pearson is one of our most accomplished and innovative of our garden designers today. We’re treated to a year in the life of Pearson’s garden. If you’re expecting a designery kind of tome, you’ll be disappointed. This is more about one man’s approach to his garden, getting the feel of the soil and how and why certain decisions were made. This is a man who thinks deeply about his garden and takes his time. It’s a heartfelt and personal volume and is much richer as a result.” (

Syndetics book coverGrowing year round : vegetables, fruit, herbs / Dennis Greville.
“Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, growing year round will encourage and inspire you, with practical advice that will help you achieve optimum results in your garden, whatever its size, climatic conditions and soil type. Dennis provides readily accessible information and tips on how to do things better. These easy to follow ideas will enable you to take charge of your garden and its productivity.  This volume contains a lifetime of practical, hands-on experience in the garden and provides up-to-date advice on how to get the best results; every time.” (

Syndetics book coverGrow your food for free (well, almost) : great money-saving ideas for your garden / Dave Hamilton.
“Don’t like spending money in garden centres?  By recycling and reusing materials creatively and making the most of what you have, you can gather all you need to grow your food on a budget. This practical guide:Takes you on a frugal journey through the seasons, from planning your plot to raising, harvesting and storing your produceOffers money-saving tips every step of the way, and occasional advice on the actual gardening!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to grow plants in pots / Martyn Cox.
“The essential guide to growing plants in small spaces, indoors and out. Dress up your patio with flowers, create your own vegetable patch on a balcony or bring impact and style to your conservatory with RHS How to Grow Plants in Pots. Packed with exciting ideas for design and practical growing tips, plants have been organised by growing conditions and key qualities to direct you to just what you need. Troubleshoot any problems that you may encounter using the handy help section and find solutions for common plant diseases and pests to keep your pots looking perfect. No matter how large or small your space, RHS How to Grow Plants in Pots will give you all the information you need to create your own Garden of Eden.”  (Syndetics summary)’