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Book Review, Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

With the recent upturn in the weather, once more it’s time to get back into the garden and embrace the wide-open spaces. With immaculate timing a review copy of the gorgeous Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by the talented stylist, Selina Lake, arrived in the studio. The garden has greened up, here I am falling in love with it all over again, ripe for any garden porn that comes my way.


 Lakes style is approachable and practical, full of beautifully styled shots it is a wonderful book to reach for when you are looking for new inspiration. Divided into chapters, each covers a different theme. Garden Inspirations is the opening chapter, here Lake shows us the spaces and plants she enjoys, as well as encouraging the reader to look for places to help develop their own individual style. I love the chapter name, Decorating Your Garden, it includes advice on choosing furniture, rounding up ways to display plants and also how to get essential decorative details like lighting into the space. Further chapters are about creating garden rooms as well as relaxing and eating outdoors and the one that presses my buttons, wont be any surprise to my readers, as it’s all about Bringing the Outside In, including details on foraging and very usefully tips to help you create your very own cutting garden. 


Lake envelopes us with the idea a garden is an extra space for escaping to, it’s your own other worldly corner. Peppered through out the text are useful style tips along with very doable, attractive projects, for instance, use small vintage bottles to hold posies to jazz up a picket fence. I suggest mixing up one of the recipes for botanical cocktails, settling down in a verdant corner to have a good read of this book, a beautiful and informative garden companion.


Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake  Photography: Rachael Whiting  Ryland Peters and Small £19.99

Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake

Photography: Rachael Whiting

Ryland Peters and Small £19.99

If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Mad About the House by Kate Watson-Smyth

My Tiny Indoor Garden by Lia Leendertz, Book Review

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

If you have no garden and are thinking you are never going to have enough space to have your own or grow your own plants and salads look no further than My Tiny Indoor Garden. House plants are having a moment just now, I use them for styling in so many projects, they are something we can all have and everyone wants to be in on the act. This delightful book by Lia Leendertz with beautiful images by Mark Diacono is packed with space saving indoor gardening ideas. It includes lots of ways to display flowers and plants as well as a wealth of tried and tested growing tips.

Before I go any further I have to declare my interest in this title and tell you I was one of the featured case studies. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty more case studies with very doable projects I want to immerse myself in.

There’s lots of detail on plant maintenance and how to keep them in prime condition from the people growing the plants. There’s a pretty succulent garden in a porch with a useful demonstration on how to take cuttings to increase your plant collection. Cookery writer Deborah Robertson shows us the secret of reinvigorating mint plants to keep them producing flushes of beautifully scented leaves. And who couldn’t linger over a fabulous multicoloured hyacinth jar collection, attractive whether or not they have blubs in them. 

Full of beautiful images and information this book would have shelf space for a long time even if I wasn’t in it. Great as a gift to inspire again and again as well as being a reliable and in depth reference book.

By Lia Leendertz

Published by Pavilion Books

Images Mark Diacono

If you like this book review check out my review of 'Making Winter' by Emma Mitchell

The Flower Farmers Year : How to Grow and cut flowers for pleasure and profit by Georgie Newbery

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

Everyone loves to give and be given flowers, and if they are British grown even better. Georgie Newbery runs Common Farm Flowers and she’s used her flower farming knowledge to create the beautiful book The Flower Farmer’s Year, jam packed with sumptuous photos of British home grown flowers. It’s certainly not just a coffee table book, it’s an extensive how to guide, giving the secrets from start to finish to help you successfully grow your own cut flowers. And if you get bitten by the bug  the know how to create a thriving artisanal floristry business.

Over the past 30 years British flower growing has all but evaporated, to be replaced by supermarket flowers flown in from all over the world, arriving with their huge environmental impact. Flower farmer, Georgie asks the question why import flowers when we are perfectly capable of growing our own British flowers without damage to the environment? Georgie is generous with her knowledge and with step-by-step instructions she shows us how we can have a year round cut flower patch outside the back door. Georgie makes cut flower growing doable for both amateurs and professionals while still paying their tithe to nature .

A visual treat the pictures are of generous and exuberant confections of British seasonal flowers and foliage, rare as hens’ teeth in the high street florist. The variety of British flowers is stunning, there are fragrant sweet peas and romantic Love in the Mist, delicate roses mixed with feverfew, grasses marigolds and cow parsley.

Readable and inspirational, the book’s packed with information including tips from top gardeners and specialist growers. The chapters are handily divided to cover different kinds of plants and unusually there’s even one on shrubs for cutting. To help make the dream a reality there’s a useful resources section with advice on where to get seeds and plants. But don’t think growing all these flowers will turn you into a basket toting Marie Antoinette. The chapter on cutting and conditioning flowers finds Georgie advising, to keep flowers at their very best, cut them straight into a deep bucket of water. 

This book would make wonderful gift for any gardener or flower lover. Whether you’re an amateur gardener or aspiring artisanal florist the book wont be read just once, with it’s wealth of invaluable information and beautiful pictures you’ll find yourself returning to Georgies blooming corner of Somerset again and again.

The Flower Farmer’s Year: How to grow cut flowers for pleasure and profit

By Georgie Newbery

Published by

If you like this book review check out my review of 'My Tiny Indoor Garden'