Scotland for GardenersÂ is almost certainly the best gardening book I’ve come across in a long time. Of equal relevance to residents and visitors, it provides information on not only gardens, garden centres and nurseries that are open to the public, but also horticultural societies and organisations.
Kenneth Cox came up with the idea while researchingÂ his previous book Garden Plants for Scotland about what grows where and why. Entries were sourced from previous publications, such as Gardens of Scotland, the SGS yellow book, personal knowledge and recommendations, although the author admits that, “I did after visiting some of them, decide not to put them in rather than having to criticise them.”
The book begins with an informative introduction, covering history, conservation, tourism, plant hunters, walled gardens and other surprisingly relevant topics. I was impressed by the author’s willingness to embark on politics, as he is passionate about protecting the livelihood of the small independent companies against commercially orientated chain stores and warns that they must be supported to protect our native species.
I was also impressed by the layout of the book. It is divided into 8 regions, each one beginning with a map showing the location of each of its entries. Since many are small and the name doesn’t necessarily tell you where it is, this is most helpful. It is full of colour pictures and finishes off with quirky lists such as ‘Gardens with Great Children’s Attractions’ and ‘Avenues of Trees’.
Now there’s a way to plan your holiday!
At Â£20 for a paperback, it might seem a trifle expensive but then not many paperbacks run to over 500 pages and are so full of colour photographs (incidentally supplied by the author’s brother). If you are even remotely interested in toddling round a garden or garden centre, or if you like having a cup of tea in nice surroundings, then this book will prove a great asset.