Top 50 books 2021/22


Books in the Horticulture Week Podcast

Six of 2021's top books' authors featured on Horticulture Week podcasts.

1. Adrian Bloom's best Perennials and Grasses has been reissued. Listen to podcast here.

2. The Woodchip Handbook by Ben Raskin: Author Ben Raskin, head of horticulture and agroforestry at the Soil Association, writes about woodchip as a mulch, growing medium, hotbed medium, compost ingredient and soil health booster. Chelsea Green Publishing. Listen to podcast here.

3. Hannah Powell suffered burn out and was diagnosed with a Functional Neurological Disorder in 2009. She has now published a book called The Cactus Surgeon: Using Nature to Fix A Faulty Brain. It’s a nature and health memoir which explores the possible reasons for her burnout and investigates her connection with Mother Nature. It’s a book of mindful moments, savouring the small wonders of flora and fauna. Cactus Surgeon was her dream career when she was six. Hannah Powell is Communications & HR Director for Perrywood Garden Centres. Listen to HW podcast here.

4. Claire Austin: Peonies. Listen to podcast here.

5. Ken Cox - Gardening Made Simple. Listen to podcast here.

6. David Domoney: My Houseplant Saved My Life.

Top 10 sellers 2021

The Almanac - Lia Leendertz

Entangled Life - Merlin Sheldrake

RHS Gardening Through the Year - Ian Spence

Complete Gardener - Monty Don

Forager's Calendar - John Wright

RHS Step by Step Veg Patch - Lucy Chamberlain

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant - Veronica Peerless

Veg in One Bed - Huw Richards

Seasons at Highclere - Countess Carnarvon

Allotment Month by Month - Alan Buckingham

6 new books for 2022

1. This spring, Monacelli is publishing Beatrix Farrand: Garden Artist, Landscape Architect, an updated edition of the 2009 definitive monograph on the only female founder of the American Society of Landscape Architects and one of the most important landscape architects of the early twentieth century. 

2. Kew Publishing spring/summer 2022 books are led by the Kew Gardens Cookbook, with 60 recipes donated by celebrities including Thomasina Miers, Monica Galetti, Yottam Ottolenghi, Claudia Roden and Raymond Blanc.

3. Great Trees of Britain and Ireland by Kew's Tony Hall features 60 trees.

4. Meadow by Wakehurst's iain Parkinson and Napoleon's Garden Island by Donald McCracken are also new.

5. Herbs and Spices and Fruit are two new Kew pocketbooks.

6. The Grove: A Nature Odyssey in 19 ½ Front Gardens by Ben Dark, which publishes on 7 April 2022. He shows how every tree or flower tells a tale and reveals the secrets of 20 commonly found species - including the rose, wisteria, buddleja, box and the tulip -observed in the front gardens of a typical London street on daily walks over the course of a year.

Award winning/shortlisted books

Garden Media Guild

Peter Seabrook practical book of the year 2021:

Winner: Carolyn Dunster for Cut & Dry (winner)


  • Kate Bradbury for RHS How to Create a Wildlife Pond
  • Tanya Anderson for A Woman's Garden
  • Marianne Willburn for Tropical Plants and How to Love Them
  • Holly Farrell & & Gareth Richards for RHS Do Bees Need Weeds

GMG Garden book of the year:

Winner: Luke Keogh for The Wardian Case


  • Julia Parker & Ghillie James for The Little Grower's Cookbook
  • Daniel Hinckley for Windcliff
  • Toby Musgrave for The Garden: Elements and Styles
  • Claire Austin for Peonies

More 2021 new books

Martyn Rix: Indian Botanical Art (Kew Publishing)

Tree Experts by Dr Mark Johnston was published on 15 June by Oxbow Books.

Eat What You Grow - Alys Fowler

My Real Garden - Anne Marie Powell

Boglione Family - Petersham Nurseries 

Gardens in My Life - Arabella Lennox-Boyd

The Naturally Beautiful Garden - Kathryn Bradley-Hole

Tom Stuart-Smith: Drawn From The Land - Tim Richardson

Pollinators and Pollination: Nature and Society - Jeff Ollerton (Pelagic Publishing, 2021)

How to Garden the Low Carbon way - Sally Nex (RHS/ Dorling Kindersley, 2021) 

Landscape Works - Piet Oudolf and LOLA: 'In Search of Sharawadgi' presents the ideas and dreams of garden designer Piet Oudolf and LOLA Landscape Architects. (Nai010 Publishers). 

The Garden Diary of Doctor Darwin - Susan Campbell: In1986, Susan Campbell made the chance discovery of a diary written between 1838 and 1865 by the father of Charles Darwin, Dr Robert Darwin and after his death in 1848 by his sister, Susan. It describes the horticultural and domestic activities at The Mount in Shrewsbury, home of the Darwin family from 1800 until Susan's death in 1866 and, in 1809, Charles's birthplace. The diary shows Charles's early horticultural experiments (1838-1841) and describes the plants that grew in this garden. Unicorn.

Great British Gardeners - Vanessa Berridge: 26 gardeners over 450 years from 'Capability' Brown, Humphry Repton, Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West to Christopher Lloyd. Amberley.

Salad Leaves - Charles Dowding’s (Green Books).

Batsford Arboretum An Extraordinary Year - By Bradley Rogers.

Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree is written by biologist, author and academic, David George Haskell. The book contains 13 essays that explore the evocative scents of trees, from the conker tree that takes us back to childhood to the pine tree hanging from the rear-view mirror.

Women and Gardens: Obstacles and Opportunities for Women Gardeners Throughout History - Judith Mundlak Taylor, MD and the late Susan Groag Bell, celebrates the achievements of women in gardening and horticultural history.

Stourhead: Henry Hoare’s Paradise Revisited (Head of Zeus). This new book, with photography by  Marianne Majerus, is a comprehensive visual history of the landscape garden and the Hoare family that cultivated it over generations. The National Trust are now custodians of the Wiltshire house and gardens.

Collins will publish five new books from TV gardener Joe Swift in February 2022: Indoor Green; Small Garden; Nature Garden; Modern Space and Edible Garden.

A literature and countrside festival will take place on 6 November 2021  at FarmED’s property near Chipping Norton, Cotswolds, and will feature talks, panels and workshops featuring Chelsea Green authors as well as other authors focused on this area. The line up includes nature writer Nicola Chester, whose memoir On Gallows Down published on 7 October; Sally Morgan, author of recently published The Healthy Vegetable Garden, who will speak on the benefits of organic gardening; Chris Salisbury author of Wild Nights Out who will share the magic of exploring the outdoors after dark; Vicki Hird, an environmental campaigner whose recent book Rebugging the Planet calls on all of us to help support insect populations; and Ben Raskin, head of horticulture at the Soil Association, whose new book The Woodchip Handbook is out in November 2021.

The Plastics Paradox - Dr Chris DeArmitt relates 'widely misunderstood common knowledge, often based on misinformation', about plastics. The book includes the information that if the US went plastic free it would generate 50m tonnes more waste, have 80% higher energy usage and 2x CO2 emissions.

The English Cottage Garden by landscaper and garden designer Andrew Sankey, a first book in Crowood's new gardening style series which covers the history of the style and offers practical advice about creating it.

The New Heirloom Garden: Designs, Recipes, and Heirloom Plants for Cooks Who Love to Garden - Ellen Ecker Ogden. Design a beautiful and self-sufficient garden; learn the secrets of heirloom vegetables, herbs, and flowers; and enjoy 55 seasonal recipes featuring the fruits of your labour.

She Grows Veg (Lucy Hutchings) Get Up and Grow Hardie Grant (UK). Hutchings is designing an edible allotment garden for Hampton Court. Perrywood is among those growing plants for it.

A revised edition of New Wild Garden - Ian Hodgson.

Great Dixter Then and Now - Fergus Garrett .

Rosa: The Story of the Rose - Peter Kukielski.

The Business of Botanicals - Ann Armbrecht.

The Regenerative Grower's Guide to Garden Amendments: using locally sourced materials to make mineral and biological extracts and ferments by Framing Nature - Laurence Rose.

A Year Full of Flowers - Sarah Raven.

Flower Colour Theory, by floral designers Michael and Darroch Putnam that will teach readers how to use colour theory to create a range of floral arrangements to suit any interior style. The Putnams have worked with fashion giants globally, from Dior to Beyoncé.

The People of Covent Garden Flower Market by Simon Lycett.

On Landscape Design - Lord Charles Aldington.

The Naturally Beautiful Garden - Kathryn Bradley-Hole.     

See also:

The top 50 garden authors of 2020

Top selling horticulture books 2020:

  • My Garden World by Monty Don
  • Down to Earth by Monty Don
  • Veg in One Bed: Huw Richards
  • RHS How to Garden When Your New to Gardening
  • RHS Gardening Month by Month
  • RHS Gardening Through the Year
  • How to Create Your Garden: Adam Frost
  • Royal Gardens of the World: Mark Lane
  • How to Attract Birds to Your Gardem: Dan Rouse
  • Step by Step Veg Patch: Lucy Chamberlain

Read These Next

Partner Content