Where to find quality garden books
While most large bookshops sell garden books, many of their titles are aimed at those buying presents for relatives with an interest in gardening — “Grandad likes roses, so let’s get him a book on that — this one looks nice.” While Grandad or Grandma may indeed like roses, they may prefer a more specialist book on heritage roses or plants raised by specialist growers such as David Austin.
For keen gardeners, it’s well worth visiting the garden bookshops found in the larger botanic gardens. For an even better range, you should try to visit Florilegium, Australia’s only specialist garden bookshop. Now in its 20th year, Florilegium, in inner western Sydney, has thousands of new and second-hand books available and is the first place to call for a difficult-to-find gardening book. It also has a mail order list at www.florilegium.com.au
Florilegium’s owner, Gil Teague, has his own favourites, such as the North American author, Michael Pollan. According to Teague, Pollan’s thoughtful and witty debut book, Second Nature, was the “best read of the last 17 years”. He also enjoyed Pollan’s recent work on food ethics, Omnivore’s Dilemma.
- Yates Garden Guide
- What Flower is That? by Stirling Macoboy
- Readers Digest Garden Encyclopaedia
- Horticultural Flora of South Eastern Australia [five volumes] by Roger Spencer
- Growing Media for Ornamental Plants & Turf, by Kevin Handreck and Neil Black
- What Garden Pest or Disease is That? by Judy McMaugh
- The Garden at Bronte, by Leo Schofield
- The Nature of Gardens, by Peter Timms
- The Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens, edited by Richard Aitken & Michael Looker
- Second Nature, by Michael Pollan
Silas Clifford-Smith is a New South Wales horticulturist with an interest in growing fruit trees.