Every year we are asked for our thoughts on garden books and gifts to help plan Christmas shopping lists or prepare for holiday reading opportunities. Hopefully, you will love these…
Living Outside: Reviving the Australian Modernist Garden by Sharon Mackay and Diana Snape (Thames & Hudson, $70) is especially exciting. Many of the 18 featured projects are small, such as a vertical garden that wraps around a three-storey building on a tiny footprint; other projects celebrate their wild location such as coastal cliff or bush block. The use of native plants, provision of habitat and thoughtful water management are common themes.
My Suburban Farm by Melbourne-based Ainslee Costa (Affirm Press $35) is a guide to channeling the rustic romance of rural life, no matter where you live. Costa shares her homegrown tips on setting up your first vegie patch, sourcing secondhand materials and practicing mindful crafts, along with recipes.
Paul Bangay’s Stonefields By the Seasons (Lantern, $60), with luscious photography by Simon Griffiths, is the inside story of Bangay’s own property and how it has changed over 15 years. This is an exceptional garden by an exceptional designer, who shares in this book his principles and aspirations as well as practical advice on planting and maintenance.
Edible Australian Succulents is the latest book from succulents guru Attila Kapitany ($42 from australiansucculents.com). It aims to increase appreciation, understanding and use of these underrated plants, and to aid identification.
The Garden State: Inside Victoria’s Private Gardens by Richard Allen (Thames & Hudson, $80) is a big and beautiful showcase of 24 of the state’s finest private patches, from historic Mt Macedon gardens to contemporary creations. Rural estates, coastal places and climate-conscious gardens are in the mix.
Flower: Exploring the World in Bloom (Editors Phaidon, $80) examines the ways artists and designers through history have depicted flowers and floral motifs. It features more than 300 images, including botanical illustrations, photographs, paintings, herbaria, floral arrangements, sculptures, plus fashion and jewellery pieces.
And for the perfect gift for ‘houseplant parents‘, a practical present is the Plant Lovers’ Essential Kit from Australian start-up We The Wild ($44.99). It contains three organic products to grow healthier and happier plants; all contain beneficial microbes sourced from worm farming.