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Gardening Guides

Published on June 3rd 2021

by CandideUK. All rights reserved

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Gardening guides teach you the fundamentals and in today's age you can push the play button and listen to the audiobook while doing chores (so there is really no excuse not to). In light of this, we will be taking a peek at Gardening books through the ages and which ones have reached dog-eared status.

Guide books for beginners

A good beginner's guidebook covers the basics in an easy, practical way that grips your attention. Many audiobooks are a great start, but sometimes you want to quickly check something (so the paperback comes in handy). We listed some Bestsellers of both to get you started.
My Audiobook recommendations:
  1. How to Make a Plant Love You Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart by Summer Rayne Oakes.
  2. Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom by Monty Don.
  3. Greenhouse Gardening: A beginners Guide to Growing Fruit and Vegetables All Year by Jason Johns.
  4. Beginners Guide to Growing Organic Mushrooms The Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation. By Elia Friedenthal.
  1. RHS Encyclopedia Of Plants and Flowers by Christopher Brickell.
A close up of a book

Kitchen & Boutique gardeners

Growing for cooking, tea or home brewing? We have you covered with everything from cut flower gardens to making hops trellises.
My Audiobook recommendations:
  1. Grow Food for Free: The Sustainable, Zero-Cost, Low-Effort Way to a Bountiful Harvest by Huw Richards.
  2. The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart.
  1. Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms by Erin Benzakein.
  2. People’s Plants: A guide to useful plants of southern Africa by van Wyk B-E and Gericke N.
  3. Indigenous healing plants by Roberts M and Roberts S.
  4. Pests, Diseases and Disorders of Garden Plants by Stefan Buczacki, Keith Harris.

Advanced Gardeners

I know some of you are daring and have been gardening for years, yet itch for more information. Well, we do not disappoint. Why not dip a toe into garden design, advanced propagation, botany or identification tools? It will open up your garden in ways you would not believe.
My Audiobook recommendations:
  1. Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition by Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis.
  1. RHS Handbook: Propagation Techniques: Simple techniques for 1000 garden plants by The Royal Horticultural Society.
  2. Botany for gardeners. By Brian Capon
  3. How to Identify Trees in Southern Africa by van Wyk B and van Wyk P.
  4. Hot Color, Dry Garden: Inspiring Designs and Vibrant Plants for the Waterwise Gardener by Nan Sterman.
  5. Kirstenbosch Grow series - These include Grow Bulbs, Grow Clivias, Grow Protea, Grow Succulents, Grow Disa, Grow Nerine. See here.
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Last, but not least, we have the connoisseurs who have found an interesting group of plants to focus on. You might like tropicals, succulents, orchids, bulbs or bonsai. Each collector has their favorite reference book, but we list some suggestions for you to consider.
  1. The Savage Garden, Revised: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants by Peter D'Amato.
  2. Haworthia Update - Essays on Haworthia Vol 1. by Bayer B.
  3. Guide to the Aloes of South Africa by van Wyk BE and Smith G.
  4. Orchids in South Africa – A Gardener’s Guide by Hendrik Venter.
  5. The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs by Manning J and Goldblatt P.
  6. Gladiolus in Southern Africa by Goldblatt P and Manning J.
For more bonsai reference see here.

A Note on Field Guides

Field guides, unlike gardening guides, provide knowledge regarding a plant, animal or insect's physical features and distribution. They can be a great resource for many gardeners keen to learn more about flora in their area, but they are not aimed to teach you how to grow them. That is where the plant community and nurserymen come into play. We are always here to help.

If you have a favorite reference book, add it in the comments below as well as your thoughts on it.

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