Dear friend and gardenerHow was your weekend, did you get any reading done? I sadly didn’t, but on the plus side, it was so lovely outdoors we gave the garden a good tidy and a few new plant friends got moved in too. Carrying on with my ever increasing reading list for 2017, today’s books are for dreamers and gardeners. I also have copies of Mountain Berries & Desert Spice by Sumayya Usmani, Studio by Sally Coulthard and Architecture By Hand by Spencer Fung to giveaway at the end of this post (you can see inside them here), happy reading. xplant inspired booksMy garden and plant books are multiplying fast. I love learning about plants, how to grow them, look after them, where they originate from and just how magical they are in general! The five I have close by this season start with Dear Friend & Gardener – Letters on Life and Gardening. I bought this one at Great Dixter on our last visit – it is the lovely exchange of personal letters between two of Britain’s leading gardeners – Christopher Lloyd and Beth Chatto. Within the pages, they share their successes and failures and the things they learn from each other’s experiences in their very different gardens. Regular visitors to Dixter, we can’t wait to visit Beth’s garden later this year.The Urban jungle bloggers bookNext up, the super joyful Urban Jungle – by the sweetest plant lovers I know – Igor Josifovic and Judith De Graaff. We were so lucky to have them come visit us with photographer Lina to take photos of our green home and include us in the book. I join in with their monthly challenges as often as I can and love the whole cactus loving community they have created online. One of the happiest internet discoveries ever I think?! Wallis was naughty as usual, stealing things from the shots and playing up for the camera!Urban Jungle bloggers bookThe thoughtful gardenerFor outside plants, I am obsessed with The Thoughtful Gardener by landscape and garden designer, Jinny Blom. This one is filled with inspiring meadows, structures and planting, hazy gardens, romantic flower collections and the most amazing ideas and examples for layering plants in borders and all over. Gardens in all seasons are captured and the secrets of how to achieve them shared. Plenty in here to keep your mind ticking over all year and beyond.The art of mindful gardeningMy next book The Art of Mindful Gardening – was a gift from the lovely Sarah, the gorgeous seed box creator over at Franklyn + Vincent. Having met online over our shared love for seeds – it was the nicest thing when it arrived. A gentle page-turner filled with advice and guidance, I am working my way slowly through the Spring chapter right now and loving it.House of PlantsFinally for all you indoor plant collectors, one of my favourite green books ever House of Plants by Caro Langton and Rose Ray. The photography and interiors are stunning, it will definitely be joining my kinfolk books in the pile of most admired.Favourite books 2017Now for a few books to get lost in. I am half way through Patti Smith’s M Train, after falling for her writing when I read her other memoir ‘Just kids’. I knew I had to snap this one up when I saw it in this San Francisco book shop last September – yes I am only just reading it now. I also walked out with a stack of awesome independent magazines, a great store if you are ever passing?!  A field guide to getting lost Rebecca solnitA Field Guide To Getting Lost was spotted on the floor at an indigo dying evening I attended with the lovely peeps from Toast (more about that next week). It was part of the stack of inspiration that our dye master Katherine May had brought with her. It had me at the cover and then when she read out the following passage that was it, on my way home I hit eBay to buy a used copy to place by my bedside asap.A field guide to getting lostOthers in the dangerously high pile are The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura – a book that emphasises how Teaism taught the Japanese many things and most importantly – simplicity. I am trying to get zen for at least one hour a week and am obsessed with all things Japanese. Then we have – Far out isn’t Far Enough by Tomi Ungerer. The title and cover on this one both called out to me. A vivid diary detailing the trials, tribulations and sometimes strange life on an isolated peninsula. With drawings and words, this book brings to life the wild and bleak landscape that Tomi and his wife moved to in 1971 after leaving New York City.Good reads 2017My list would not be complete without my beloved independent magazines. I pour over every new issue of Laine, Cereal, Open House, Another Escape – oh the list goes on and luckily we now sell most of my favourites over in the shop so I get them as soon as they are released, wahoo!Cereal Magazine Spring 2017Now, enough about me and time for something for you. Do you love snooping around artists studios, trying exciting new recipes or interiors that work in harmony with nature? If so, I have a copy of – Mountain Berries & Desert Spice by Sumayya Usmani, Studio by Sally Coulthard and Architecture By Hand by Spencer Fung to giveaway to three of you – just leave a note with the title you’d like to read most in the comment section below and I will randomly choose three winners next Monday to send them to (open to UK Only I am afraid). Ps. I am thinking of adding something like this at the end of our driveway for passing neighbours, hikers and dog walkers. I love to forward a book on to someone new and we have plenty of people walking by, as we live only metres away from the local country park. What do you think? Have a great new week, Jeska xBook giveaway 2017

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