Ursula Buchan

The best of this year’s gardening books

4 November 2023 9:00 am

Authors reviewed include Jinny Blom on design, Jenny Joseph on scented plants, Maury C. Flannery on herbaria and Francis Pryor on his Fenland haven


4 February 2023 9:00 am

A choice of gardening books for Christmas

12 November 2022 9:00 am

Do you ever think about the ground beneath your feet? I do. Having read a number of popular science books…

Who needs a hosepipe? The watering cans worth investing in

13 August 2022 9:00 am

In the hot, dry summer of 1976, I was working as a gardening student at Arboretum Kalmthout in Belgium. The…

In defence of slugs: gastropods are seriously misunderstood

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Slugs and snails are the bane of every gardener who tries to grow strawberries, leafy and tuberous vegetables, flowering bulbs…

Earthly paradises: the best of the year’s gardening books

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Important historic gardens fall into two main categories: those made by one person, whose vision has been carefully preserved down…

Try forest bathing – by day and night – to ward off depression

18 September 2021 9:00 am

Anyone who spends time among trees senses how good that is for their physical and mental wellbeing, says Ursula Buchan

Gardening books for Christmas — reviewed by Ursula Buchan

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Dan Pearson is one of the finest of all British garden designers, blessed with sensitivity, a wonderful eye, deep plant…

Thanks to Covid, village shows are withering away

19 September 2020 9:00 am

It’s been an awful year for village fairs

Gardening is the great panacea

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Viewed from a purely private garden perspective, this has been a ver mirabilis. The blossom has been wonderful and long-lasting,…

A tribute to the grandes dames of gardening — Beth Chatto and Penelope Hobhouse

9 November 2019 9:00 am

There is no longer much point buying strictly practical gardening books, such as were a staple of the publishing industry…

The magic of the Chelsea Flower Show

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Chelsea, the most famous flower show in the world, pulled in its devotees once more this week, with its accustomed…

A river of green topiary cascades down the terrace steps at West Dean. Cotoneaster horizontalis covers the wall on the right

Top topiary: the year’s best gardening books

17 November 2018 9:00 am

There are probably no more gifted professional gardeners in England than Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, husband and wife and…

The real gardeners’ questions answered

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Why is it that gardening in the public prints is so often treated as a fluffy subject for fluffy people?…

Perfectly stacked wood, Norwegian-style

Top tips for gardeners — from stroking seedlings to stacking logs

21 November 2015 9:00 am

I spent the summer of 1976 working as a trainee gardener at the Arboretum Kalmthout in Belgium. My employer was…

The many lives of John Buchan

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Ursula Buchan casts further light on her grandfather’s famous novel

Acer palmatum ‘Osakasuki’, the Japanese maple

There is good in every tree, says Thomas Pakenham — even the sycamore

26 September 2015 8:00 am

I have never written much about the one-acre shaw of native trees I planted in 1994, even though it is…

Primula auricula

How 18th-century gardeners ordered their plants after a great storm, a terrible drought and ‘a little ice age’

23 May 2015 9:00 am

I hesitate ever to criticise an author for the inappropriateness of a book’s title, since it’s more likely the fault…

Castle Cottage in Near Sawrey, Cumbria, where Beatrix Potter lived after her marriage to William Heelis

Behind (almost) every great writer is a great garden

8 November 2014 9:00 am

It is a truism that writers of all kinds often find inspiration and solace in their gardens, as well as…

‘At the Cottage Door’, by Myles Birket Foster (1825–99)

Beauty in beastly surroundings

26 April 2014 9:00 am

The vast majority of books written about British gardens and their histories are concerned with large ones, made and maintained,…

The elegant stems of the hornbeam allow for views down into the five garden compartments on the south side of the long water garden at Temple Guiting by Jinny Blom. (From The New English Garden by Tim Richardson)

The most important gardening book of the year

16 November 2013 9:00 am

I’ll own up at once. Tim Richardson and Andrew Lawson, the author and photographer of The New English Garden (Frances…