Gardening in Scotland
Perhaps the best place to start is Katharine Stewart's classic book, A Garden in the Hills. Stewart's description of one year in her Highland garden is sure to inspire you to pick up trowel and garden fork.
Next, you'll need to choose the fruits, vegetables and plants best suited to your garden. The largest such guide is Scottish Plants for Scottish Gardens. The National Museums of Scotland and Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden collaborated on the small handbook Discovering Scottish Plants. You might also be inspired by Scottish Wild Plants: Their History, Ecology and Conservation.
Unexpectedly, Edward Cairney espouses the benefits of the humble Brussels Sprout in The Sprouters Handbook.
Floris Books publish a number of books on Biodynamic agriculture, a holistic approach to farms and gardens inspired by the writings of Rudolf Steiner. Titles include Principles of Biodynamic Spray and Compost Preparations and the yearly Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar.
Antonia Swinson, who regularly writes for The Scotsman, tackles Life, Land and the Pursuit of Happiness in You Are What You Grow.
If you prefer the end result rather than the hard work of gardening, there are a number of books on the great gardens of Scotland for you to enjoy. Each year Scotland's Gardens Scheme publishes Gardens of Scotland, a guide to over 350 gardens to visit in Scotland. The National Trust for Scotland also produce an illustrated guide to their garden properties. Poet and artist Ian Hamilton Finlay, who died last year, created the famous Little Sparta garden in the Pentland hills.
There are also a number of books on this history of gardening in Scotland, from Sheila Mackay's Early Scottish Gardens: A Writer's Odyssey, Ian Gow's Scottish Houses and Gardens, is plucked from the archives of Country Life magazine. Suki Urquhart's The Scottish Gardener is a beautifully presented history of gardening in Scotland, filled throughout with stunning colour photographs. The formal gardens of Edinburgh's New Town were always part of the grand plan for the New Town, as Connie Byrom explains in The Edinburgh New Town Gardens.
There are four Royal Botanic Gardens in Scotland - in Edinburgh, Benmore, Logan and Dawyck, and the city of Glasgow also hosts a Botanical Garden.
Illustrated with over 90 photographs, paintings, sketches, plans and line drawings, this book describes a personal journey around the 16th, 17th and 18th-century gardens of Scotland.
- Add to BasketThe Edinburgh New Town Gardens: 'Blessings As Well As Beauties' - - Hardback
For most people, a garden is a private refuge where they can satisfy their need for beauty, tranquillity and order. These concepts were very much to the fore during the planning, building and maintenance of the gardens in Edinburgh's New Town, and this book features some of the most elegant and beautiful examples.
- Add to BasketThe Gardens Of The National Trust For Scotland - - Hardback
Over 60 of Scotland's finest gardens are described. The book includes histories of the gardens and their designers, details of planting and notable plant collections, and the Trust's policy for restoration and conservation. Directions on getting there accompany information on access and opening times.
- Add to BasketLittle Sparta: The Garden Of Ian Hamilton Finlay - - Hardback
Ian Hamilton Finlay's unique creation in the Pentland Hills is a garden composed as an artwork. It incorporates concrete poetry, moral polemic, philosophical reflection and a sparkling sense of humour. This book offers a sense of the diversity and originality of the garden, unfolding the layers of meaning it contains.
- Add to BasketPrinciples Of Biodynamic Spray And Compost Preparations - - Paperback
A renowned biodynamic expert, Manfred Klett provides an overview of the history of agriculture, and discusses the principles of spray and compost preparations and the philosophy behind them.
- Add to BasketScottish Houses And Gardens: From The Archives Of Country Life - - Paperback
It is exactly 100 years since Country Life began to commission leading architectural photographers to record the great country houses of the British Isles. This book features some 20 of the most important & remarkable houses in Scotland from the archive.
- Add to BasketScottish Wild Plants: Their History, Ecology And Conservation - - Paperback
From the Scots pine to the tiny Iceland purslane, Scotland's native flora is explored using a wealth of detailed information. The history of their discovery and identification, and their current status, whether thriving or declining, are all included.
- Add to BasketThe Sprouters Handbook - - Paperback
Edward Cairney first discovered sprouts during a period of poor health, and since then he has been researching and sharing his enthusiasm for the subject through writing and lectures. With this book, Cairney offers a comprehensive guide to sprouts.
- Add to BasketYou Are What You Grow: Life, Land And The Pursuit Of Happiness - - Hardback
'You Are What You Grow' is the author's vision of how the world ticks. Scything down the caricature of the allotmenteer, this is a social and political critique from an allotmenteer's point of view. She explores issues such as the history of British land ownership, organic produce and self-sufficiency, community building, and much more.