I have a collated some books that I wanted to review that would make great Christmas presents to add to your lists, buy for others or indeed, gift to yourself. I have bought one of these books and two were sent for me to review, I shall make it clear which is which.
First up: Gardens under big skies by Noel Kingsbury and Maayke de Ridde. Gosh, what a book! This has to be on the 'you need this book' list. I have not paid for this book and I have not been paid to write this review. My words and opinions are as always my own. My opinion is: you need this book. I confess I knew very little about The Netherlands and gardening (generally and specifically) but it sounded very interesting. This is an understatement, this is more than just a book about gardens, it told me so much about The Netherlands itself.
Noel takes us through the geography and the history of the Dutch landscapes. Superficially you can think of The Netherlands as flat and indeed Noel confirms this, but this is not totally accurate. Whilst much of the country is below see level there are rocks and hills. The chapters are in themes inspired by natural landscapes, cultural and landscape designers. The designers' work profiled in each chapter is diverse and fascinating. I loved reading about the different approaches and the photographs by Maayke de Ridde makes the book come to life. They are exceptional photographs and makes this book complete. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, you might think it has no relevance to your gardening if you do not live in The Netherlands but I found the combination of recognition of a similar climate with a different approach to gardening totally inspiring. It is probably not a huge surprise that the foreward is by Piet Oudolph, it is a seal of approval that the book deserves.
Gardens under big skies by Noel Kingsbury and Maayke de Ridde is published by Filbert Books and is priced at £40, but you can find it on large internet based bookshops for less.