The season of garden shows is upon us – Malvern and Chelsea in May, Hampton Court and Tatton Park in July, not to mention all the wonderful local shows that run up and down the country every spring and summer. BBC coverage of the main exhibitions is worth tuning into for its bevy of horticultural experts and keen amateur gardeners, who talk you through the award-winning exhibits and stand-out displays.
Inspired by a very British obsession with gardening, we’ve created a number of gardening titles for our blind and partially sighted library members over the years. And, at this time of year, when the sights, sounds and aromas of our gardens come into their own, we think it’s the perfect time to dip again into our Touch to See garden-inspired books.
English Garden Design traces the history of gardening from mediaeval monastic gardens right up to the state of the art Conservatory at Kew. We can wander through the formal French style gardens, the grand landscapes of our great country houses and even learn about the Venus’ fly trap. Back in 2004, to celebrate our 15th anniversary, we created our 27th album, which describes our very own exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show from 2002. It also outlines the history of the Royal Horticultural Society which celebrated its 200th anniversary that year too.
British Wildflowers takes us on four evocative walks in different parts of the country and describes some of the beautiful flora we might find there.
For inspiring children to get involved in gardening, we have both topical packs and pictures. The Magical Garden of Claude Monet, and Camille and the Sunflowers about Van Gogh are both based on Laurence Anholt’s books. They are a wonderful introduction to the work of these famous artists and the beauty of nature.
For younger children, Jasper’s Beanstalk is the story of Jasper the black and white cat who is a bit too impatient to be a gardener but he is rewarded in the end. The Strong Little Tree is about the challenges a little tree has to face from its beginning as a tiny acorn. Trampling cows, nibbling sheep, heavy boots and fierce storms can’t stop this sturdy little plant until it eventually grows into a mighty oak tree and sheds acorns of its own.