Some garden books for under the tree

Great gift ideas for the green-thumb around your home

Michele Stellata, the editor of the popular site Gardenista, has pulled together a book this year titled Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces. The book celebrates 13 gardens including that of one of my favourite Instagrammers, Charlie McCormick, who gardens with designer Ben Pentreath in Dorset.

The book offers quick tips on ‘getting the look’ and ‘cheat sheets’ for amateurs and seasoned gardeners alike. A nice blend of text and image, Gardenista would make a great gift for a new homeowner. Yes, you could find similar content on the site, but the perusing wouldn’t be half as fun.

Local artist and author Helen Stewart has a lovely stocking-sized book out this year titled A Garden’s Echo. Featuring collages, illustrations and prose, the book reflects on generations of gardeners and offers an intimate look at a garden and a life. To quote Molly Peacock, “through her warm voice and intimate images the artist tells a story of a nearly forgotten past, of her china-painting great-grandmother, of…the sons of an important nurseryman, of George Eastman’s flower photography, and of herself struggling on her farm…”

(BTW: Molly Peacock’s biography The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 is a wonderful read for lovers of history, botany and Britannia, but it’s far more than that too. Not that I’m rating here, but five stars.)

The floral photography book of the season is Ngoc Minh Ngo’s In Bloom: Creating and Living with Flowers. This book is for the aesthete, the armchair gardener, the artist, or the interior designer – tastemakers, or people who love plants everywhere – on walls, on pottery, on fabrics. The book explores the obsessions of people around the world, offering glimpses into studios, gardens and homes.

Speaking of flowers, floral icon Ariella Chezar, author of Flowers for the Table, came out this year with The Floral Workshop. It covers everything from tonal contrast to tools-of-the-trade to hand-tied bouquets. Recipes make this book great for beginners and DIY brides, and while access to some of the flowers listed may be tricky, the book as a whole has a friendly and accessible tone encouraging experimentation. I’ve had the privilege of working under Ariella’s guidance and she truly is a master of the art.

My final recommendation is a quirky little book that was first published in Point Reyes in 1994 but is again on the hip list (I picked it up in a design store in Portland this year). It’s called Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers by Leonard Koren. Wabi-sabi is a Japanese term which refers to an esthetic that finds beauty in imperfection and impermanence.

If that sounds like your garden, or if you value simplicity and are interested in cultivating new ideas about how we perceive objects and space, give it a try. The author blurb alone is worth the price: “Leonard Koren was trained as an architect but never built anything – except an eccentric Japanese teahouse – because he found large permanent objects too philosophically vexing to design. Instead he created WET: the magazine of Gourmet Bathing one of the premier avant-garde magazines of the 1970s.” The book just gets better from there.

Christin Geall teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Victoria and is an avid gardener.

 

Just Posted

Researchers say ‘text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millenials’ skulls

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

UVic microbiology student chosen for 2019 Amgen Scholars Canada Program

Dushanthi Dissanayake and 14 other Canadian students head to Toronto for mentorship, research

Esquimalt hosts many highlights for everyone

Some of the Esquimalt’s newest additions and classic favourites for Township visitors to see

Peninsula literary aims to create book worms with open air library

Open a book in the open air on selected Tuesdays this summer

Retiring Oak Bay geriatrics doctor shares his philosophy

‘People are unacquainted with death,’ Dr. David Brook said

WATCH: Thousands gather for National Indigenous Peoples Day at Royal Roads University

Day to embrace and celebrate culture and lives of Indigenous peoples

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read