Tidying gardens in Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Knebworth & surrounding villages.
If you would like help in the garden, whether it's for a few hours a week, a month or more, then please get in touch.
Tel: 07963 291504

Fully booked for 2020.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Urban Flowers - Book Review

Trust me...you're gonna Love! Love! Love this book.
'Urban Flowers: Creating abundance in a small city garden' by Carolyn Dunster.
I've reviewed a few books this year but this one is my favourite so far. It's perfect for novices, with advice on creating your garden, choosing the plants through to maintenance and care. It's also a great book for the more experienced gardener who maybe needs some fresh inspiration. And talking of inspiration, this book is jammed packed with it.

Following Carolyn's introduction, Urban Flowers is divided into 6 sections, the first looking at The City Garden. Now don't panic if you don't live in a city. The point of this book is to show that you can create a garden and have beautiful blooms 'in the heart of an urban area and in the tiniest and most unlikely of spaces'. It's all about the positive impact of plants on garden critters and us mere mortals and how we can do our bit to bring nature back into our concrete environments.

Evaluating Your Space starts at the beginning, looking at what you've got, be it a balcony, roof terrace or just steps up to your front door, to a small or large garden area. There is advice on soil types, growing in shady areas, nooks and crannies as well as using pots and containers, making the most of walls and creating a peaceful haven.

Choosing a Style is about creating YOUR garden, the way you want it. It's a bit like decorating a living-room or a playroom, but outside...in your style, to fit your way of life and reflecting your personality. There are tips on creating mood boards while you figure out what it is you like and want from your patch of planet earth, through to sources of inspiration like Instagram, Pinterest, magazines, etc... There are some great inexpensive ideas for plant containers and recycling plus a more in depth look at cottage gardening, classic and contemporary styles.

Selecting Your Plants has got to be the most exciting part of your creation. This section looks at ideas for trees in small spaces, shrubs, climbers, perennials, etc...through to growing your own plants from seed, buying bedding plants and getting scent into the garden. Again, as with all sections of this book, there are loads of examples on plants to consider.

Experimenting With Colour is the section you will drool over. Honestly...the photography in this book (by Jason Ingram) is breathtakingly beautiful. If his photos don't get you dashing off to the nearest garden centre then I don't know what will. 

This section oozes inspiration, with plant ideas for every colour of the rainbow. What I love about this book is everything is easily achievable, the plants are readily found in our garden centres and there are lots of inexpensive re-cycling or up-cycling ideas.

Reaping Your Rewards is about extending the enjoyment of the garden by bringing the flowers, berries and leaves indoors, whether it's in floral arrangements, gift ideas for others or creating simple plant and flower recipes.

This is an area I personally have been working on, simple vases of anything and everything from the garden.

I love this book.
If I was talented enough to write a book about how I feel and what I love about gardening, this would be it. This is a truly beautiful book, simply written by someone who understands the benefits to us all of having a garden or even just a few pots of colour around us.
It's a hardback book and for anyone like me who is a bit anal about book paper quality, the pages are top notch, thick and slightly glossy.
As I said before, the photography is breathtaking with exquisite garden and plant pictures on every page. If you only buy one gardening book, buy this one.

Urban Flowers: Creating abundance in a small city garden.
Written by Carolyn Dunster
Photography by Jason Ingram
Published by Frances Lincoln

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