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5 Essential Country Garden Books

English country garden

Everyone loves to get lost in the romance of a country garden. Whether it is an expanse of lawns, huge beds bursting with colour or something lower maintenance, it is fair to say that the British know how to create a stunning outdoor space.

If you are a follower of my social media page (A Country Agent) you will see that I regularly posts images of country homes with the stereotypical “english country garden” and it’s fair to say those images generate a huge response.

Below is a list of 5 essential books for your bookshelf to help you create your dream Country Garden…

Coton House - A country Garden
Coton House
The most “liked” image on my social media page with over 13,000 likes & rising!

My Garden World by Monty Don

A celebration of every living creature that we all share. This year has given us the enforced opportunity to learn more about the fascinating natural world around us.

Whether you live in the countryside or the town, Monty’s observations and insights are relevant to each and every one of us. My Garden World is Monty Don’s personal journey through the natural year, month by month, season by season, observed from the immediate world around him.

My Secret Garden by Alan Titchmarsh

After moving from the Barleywood garden where he hosted BBC Gardeners’ World for seven years, Alan Titchmarsh set up home in an old farmhouse a few miles down the road, and went about planting his own private eden away from the public eye. In this horticultural memoir Alan finally reveals all about this secret garden, explaining with his trademark warmth the personal stories behind its design and evolution.

Accompanied by beautiful photographs taken by Jonathan Buckley throughout the eight years in which the garden has been made, My Secret Garden allows us access to all of the successes and failures of this diverse and ambitious project.

RHS Gardening Through the Year: Month-by-month Planning Instructions and Inspiration

Achieve a luscious garden all year round with this best-selling, easy-to-follow guide for novice gardeners from BBC Gardener’s World writer Ian Spence.

Find out when the best time is for pruning rose bushes, when your potatoes will be ready to harvest, how to keep your lawn green and well-fed, and learn how to plan ahead with this comprehensive gardening book.

Keep on top of garden tasks with month-by-month chapters, “Last Chance” reminders, “Get Ahead” tips, and handy to-do lists. This RHS book will make gardening easier by providing helpful guidelines and realistic advice, so you can plan out your time efficiently and effectively.

Packed with beautiful photo galleries that showcase each month’s “Star Plant”, you’ll be inspired to have your own garden blooming throughout the year! Explore more than 350 different varieties in the A-Z illustrated plant directory.

The Modern Cottage Garden: A Fresh Approach to a Classic Style, by Greg Loades

‘An inspirational book, with encouraging words and down-to earth advice for achieving a year-round beautiful garden.’ Michael Marriott, chief rosarian at David Austin Roses

In this practical and inspirational guide, Greg Loades presents a new style of planting: a fusion between classic cottage style and the new perennial movement. Using real gardens as examples, The Modern Cottage Garden teaches gardeners how to combine the best of both styles–big, colourful blooms and striking grasses and native plants–into one beautiful space that requires little maintenance and has a long season of interest.

The Story of the English Garden, by Ambra Edwards

The Story of the English Garden is the National Trust’s accessible history of the nation’s gardens, sumptuously illustrated and artfully curated. 

From tiny medieval gardens to vast Georgian parks, from Victorian glasshouses crammed with exotic specimens to the elegant outdoor ‘rooms’ of the Edwardians and the functional, ecologically aware gardens of today, this book explores the love affair between the English and their gardens for over 500 years. It’s a fascinating story about passion – and power and politics too. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and includes new photography of some of the most influential gardens in the world, including Sissinghurst. 

Drawn from the National Trust’s extensive archives, The Story of the English Garden is the definitive guide to Europe’s greatest collection of historic gardens – a rich celebration of World Heritage sites, rare and exotic plants and groundbreaking architectural design.


Bee and Butterfly Border Collection provides a simple template that blends flowering shrubs with perennials, that will attract bees and butterflies to your country garden while looking great.

It does the planning for you with each border lovingly designed by award winning Plantsman, Antony Henn

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