We’ve reviewed a few good looking books on this site, but few have bettered New Wild Garden in the visual stakes. You may never have previously considered natural-style wild planting in your garden, but stare for long enough at some of the widescreen photos in this book and you’ll soon be adding achillea, anemone and ageratum to your next garden centre shopping list.
I’m writing this looking out at my lawn. It’s a disgrace. Mostly brown, uneven, shaggily mown and riddled with weeds. Now turning to the section on creating meadows and a better future for my lawn begins to seem possible: long grass scattered with wild flowers, teeming with bulbs in spring, soft foliage lapping around my weather worn furniture. Then I remember the two dogs that are responsible for most of the damage to my existing lawn and wonder how they might destroy a meadow…
The book is divided into eight neatly packaged sections with inspiration on how to create natural landscapes, advice on planning a wild garden and planting techniques for meadows, grassland and naturalistic schemes. A pots and containers section includes micro-meadows and bijou woodlands, and the book closes with a comprehensive plant gallery and directory.
Author Ian Hodgson, a former editor of The Garden Magazine and qualified landscape architect, writes clearly and concisely and has filled the book with useful insights, with everything from weeding methods to seed collecting covered.
Neil Hepworth’s photos are stunning. Inspiration oozes from every image, from full page shots of floral colour to small instructional images that simplify the more technical instructions.
For anyone looking at introducing wild planting into their garden – from a small patch of border to a total garden takeover – this book will not only get you up and running but will also act as a reference book for years to come.
New Wild Garden by Ian Hodgson is out now, published by Frances Lincoln (£25). More information on the book can be found here.