I love books in general and gardening books in particular. I have an entire bookshelf devoted to my gardening and homesteading book collection. When I say garden planning, I really mean the garden layout — which varieties to plant and where to plant them for best affect. These three garden books are my favorite ones to look through when dreaming of the perfect garden design.
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This is my favorite garden layout book of all. I know it is way fancier than anything I’ll ever be able to build here on our homestead, but I never get tired of looking at the pictures for ideas that I can add to our garden and orchard,
Where Rosemary Verey’s garden designs are beautiful and grandiose, Louise Riotte’s designs are practical and down to earth. She suggests which plantings should go next to each other in rows and which things to interplant in order to get the most productive vegetable garden.
I love that Louise Riotte’s Weekend Garden plan includes so much information! It’s a succession planting plan with two main crops for each row, one cool season and one summer crop. She lists multiple possible companion plants, as well as the “hindered by” column, which tells us plants to avoid interplanting alongside the main crop. It’s not the most beautiful chart, but wonderfully informative all the same.
I’m grateful for the technology that has allowed me to go back and watch all the old time episodes of Harry Dodson’s Victorian Garden shows as well as his WWII era garden show. They are so informative! The books that go along with both series are quite well done. Harry Dodson’s Practical Kitchen Garden book goes through each type of vegetable crop, berries, fruit trees, storing and saving the harvest.
This particular book has excellent charts and illustrations, but no garden layout plans per se.
The Victorian Kitchen Garden book is authored by Jennifer Davies, but includes a lot of practical experiences and suggestions from Harry Dodson. It is largely comprised of the gardening information from Victorian era experts that was used to guide them as they tried to recreate that style of garden.
My favorite pages in the book are this beautifully illustrated Victorian Garden plan. I love reading the names of all the heirloom fruit tree varieties around the edges. There were many more varieties available to gardeners back then.