Scotland for Gardeners – Book review

Scotland for Gardeners 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 researching 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 £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.

Scotland for Gardeners: The Guide to Scottish Gardens, Nurseries and Garden Centres is discounted from Amazon

Published by

Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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