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Two Perfect Winter Reads By Alison Levey

These two books have to be two of the most beautiful gardening books I have ever seen.  It was impossible for me not to review them.

I was given these books but not with the intention that I would review them.  I have not paid for these books and I am not expected by anyone to write about them.  My words and opinions are my own. 

Brilliant English Gardens by Clive Nichols

Clive Nichols is one of our foremost garden photographers.  His works appears in magazines and many books.  This book is Clive's 'photographic tour' of 27 gardens.  Some of these gardens I know but many I do not.  The photographs are stunning and the quality of the book itself ensures that they are reproduced to the highest possible standard.  The colours absolutely shimmer in the light.  It is maybe as much a book about light as it is about gardens.  Each of the gardens featured has a short introduction and then so many photographs most of which over two pages and what a selection gardens it is.  Parham and Ulting Wick are included, two gardens I am very fond of and also Rockcliffe Garden.  I visited Rockcliffe a few years ago and it remains in my memory as a very special place.  I really must visit again.

Then there are the gardens in here I have not visited, many I have not even heard of and yet now are added to that list: Ordnance House and Malverleys in particular but I would enjoy just working my way through the book.   

It is a cliche to call it a feast for the eyes, but that is what it is.  If you cannot visit these gardens then this book is the next best thing.  It is not a cheap book with an RRP currently of £60.  You can find it for less on online booksellers but the quality of this book is reflected in the price.   

Brilliant English Gardens by Clive Nichols is published by Clearview Books

See also our Have A Seat With Clive Nichols

Venetian Gardens by Monty Don and Derry Moore

I enjoyed Monty's BBC series on this subject very much and so was delighted to be given the book.  I have been to Venice many (many) years ago but it was not a garden-visiting opportunity.  I feel like I really missed out.  Maybe one day I will visit again and put this right.

Monty visits quite different, diverse gardens in this book.  Derry Moore's photographs brings them to life with Monty's words perfectly complementing them.  

Wisteria features heavily in some gardens and there are also several photographs that feature the shapes/structural beauty of the pine trees that are a key part of the Venetian landscape.  I also like that in some photographs there is washing strung across narrow streets.  Whilst many of the gardens are definitely signs of wealth, there is also room for the ordinary.  I did regard this book as a shopping list of gardens to visit - what a grand tour of Venice it would be to go and find them all.  Ah for the lottery win that I need......

Venetian Gardens by Monty Don and Derry Moore is published by BBC Books/Ebury

Take care and be kind.

For more from the Blackberry Garden see below links

With Many Thanks to Alison Levey

Alison has been writing about her garden on ‘The BlackberryGarden’ blog since 2011.  Alison describes herself as an amateur and somewhat obsessed gardener and is based in Leicester.  Alison writes about her own garden and what inspires her to garden; gardens she has visited, plant fairs and garden shows.  Alison also reviews garden related books and products.  The Blackberry Garden is not a ‘how to’ blog, the aim is to talk more about the enjoyment of gardening and it is read by people who garden and people who do not.

Alison is a member of the Garden Media Guild and was awarded the Garden Media Guild Blog of the Year 2019.  Alison’s blog has been rated by Vuelio as the number 1 UK Garden Blog 2017, 2018 and 2019.


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Posted by Siobhan on December 18th 2023

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