How to spend it on… botanical books

Beatrice Hodgkin picks the best of the bunch

The Leaf Supply Guide to Creating Your Indoor Jungle by Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan (Smith Street, £25)
The Leaf Supply Guide to Creating Your Indoor Jungle by Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan (Smith Street, £25)

The Leaf Supply Guide to Creating Your Indoor Jungle by Lauren Camilleri andSophia Kaplan (Smith Street, £25)

Curating and displaying a collection of houseplants can influence interior design as much as hanging incredible art, say the duo behind this new book, who run Sydney’s influential nursery and design store Leaf Supply. This follow-up to their eponymous debut book sees them embark upon a journey round the world, capturing the stylish arrangements of various plant lovers who have each created thriving indoor jungles, many in unusual ways – from multistorey layers of greenery to water-filled glass jars of plants. Practical tips, plant biographies and personal narratives make it an illuminating guide.

The Land Gardeners: Cut Flowers by Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld (Thames and Hudson, £39.95)
The Land Gardeners: Cut Flowers by Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld (Thames and Hudson, £39.95)

The Land Gardeners: Cut Flowers by Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld (Thames and Hudson, £39.95)

This is a story of poetic joy, entrepreneurial chutzpah and of getting hands very dirty – both metaphorically and literally. Seven years ago, two friends, now known as the Land Gardeners, set out to revive the gardens at Wardington Manor in order to supply florists such as Scarlet & Violet with the opposite of hothouse flowers – “billowing, natural, autumnal blooms like cosmos and dinner plate dahlias… blowsy, wild and gloriously imperfect”. Through beautiful prose and images they tell their inspirational tale from the soil up, season by season, sharing their understanding of connecting with the land, working with nature not taming it, and cultivating a garden filled with laughter and life.

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Eden Revisited: A Garden in Northern Morocco by Umberto Pasti and Ngoc Minh Ngo (Rizzoli, £40)

For over 20 years, Italian writer and horticulturist Umberto Pasti has been rescuing plants from construction sites around his home in Tangier and transporting them back to his garden, the world-famous Rohuna, a verdant haven where every corner tells a story – each rooted in the botanical diversity of the area. Here, there’s a lush pocket of plants redolent of the jungle foliage seen in the paintings of Henri Rousseau; there, a hillside cascading with Morocco’s most colourful flowers, all jostling for attention. Photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo’s portraits of the garden evoke its personality with kaleidoscopic vim.

Eden Revisited: A Garden in Northern Morocco by Umberto Pasti and Ngoc Minh Ngo (Rizzoli, £40)
Eden Revisited: A Garden in Northern Morocco by Umberto Pasti and Ngoc Minh Ngo (Rizzoli, £40)

Blooms (Phaidon, £35)

Phaidon’s winning formula of asking leading creative forces, tastemakers and innovators to nominate a talent in a specific arena now sees the publisher turn its gaze on the world of floral designers. Work by an abundance (more than 80) of established and emerging names living in cities from London to Tokyo, Berlin to San Francisco makes for a visually luxurious tome as the arrangements and installations push the boundaries of the genre – from walls of flowers wending their way up sculptures, to Les Lalanne-style floral sheep hanging out by graffiti. Less practical guide, more fantasy indulgence, this is a visual feast of colour, creativity and the heart-soaring happiness that comes from flowers in their finery. 

Blooms (Phaidon, £35)
Blooms (Phaidon, £35)

Read about plant pots that rock.

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