There is perhaps nothing I love more for Christmas than books. For me, receiving a beautiful hardcover filled with wondrous photography or illustrations, prose that dances off the page, and tomes filled with inspiration is a gift that I will treasure forever. Here are ten books that I would love to have this Christmas!
1) THE LAND GARDENERS - CUT FLOWERS - Bridget Elworthy
Although I don’t yet have a garden of my own, I’m still completely fascinated with the subject and adore books about gardens. The Land Gardeners provides vital information on everything you need to create your own cut-flower garden, from necessary tools and how to support health to what plants flourish in which seasons and advice on gathering, preparing, and arranging your blooms. In this gorgeous volume, the authors provide a plan for growing flowers in all four seasons.
As beautiful as it is informative, this book explores the joy of gathering cut flowers and the importance of surrounding ourselves with healthy, vital gardens.
2) Werner's Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Anatomy, and the Arts
First published in 1814, Werner's Nomenclature of Colours is a taxonomic guide to the colors of the natural world that has been cherished by artists and scientists for more than two centuries. This beautiful pocket-size facsimile is certain to delight and inform a new generation of artists and scientists. Werner's Nomenclature of Colours is a charming artifact from the golden age of natural history and global exploration.
3) RATTAN: A WORLD OF ELEGANCE AND CHARM - Lulu Lytle
Long fascinated with rattan's versatility, designer Lulu Lytle examines the enduring appeal of this sustainable tropical palm in RATTAN: A WORLD OF ELEGANCE AND CHARM. The first book in decades to examine the history and craftsmanship of rattan furniture, this insightful tome showcases rattan's appeal through archival images of beautiful interiors including Madeleine Castaing's winter garden in Paris, Michael Taylor's own Californian beach house, the Titanic's Café Parisian and the Billy Baldwin designed Mr. Kennedy's beauty salon in New York City. Rattan's many personalities are explored through its inclusion in settings as diverse as Impressionist paintings, flamboyant nightclubs and pared down contemporary drawing rooms.
4) GARDEN SECRETS OF BUNNY MELLON - Linda Jane Holden
As many of you will know, Bunny Mellon is my hero and I will try to get my hands on anything with her name on!
Garden Secrets of Bunny Mellon is for anyone who has enjoyed time spent in a garden, from aspiring garden makers to those who manage large estates. This collection is comprised of extracts from Bunny’s own writings and garden notes, as well as photographs and drawings from her archive.
Chapters are organized by Atmosphere (sky, horizon, shadows), Climate, Light, Space, Shape, Maintenance, and more―readers will feel as if Bunny Mellon has come alongside as a gardening guide and friend.
Also as an accompaniment to this book there is the Bunny Mellon Garden Journal - a notebook interspersed with blank and lined pages as well as little sketches and illustrations drawn by Bunny herself. Utterly charming!
5) MORE BEAUTIFUL - Mark D Sikes
Mark D Sikes is one of my favourite instagram follows - I simply love his elegant yet fresh take on decorating. This, his second book, celebrates his career in the industry and serves as a bible of inspiration for all-American design.
6) WHOLE FOOD COOKING EVERYDAY - Amy Chaplin
I love to cook - especially healthy and whole food recipes that will nourish me and improve my life. In 20 chapters, Chaplin shares ingenious recipes incorporating the foods that are key to a healthy diet: seeds and nuts, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and other plant-based foods. Chaplin encourages readers to seek out local and organic ingredients, stock their pantries with nutrient-rich whole food ingredients, prep ahead of time, and, most important, cook at home.
7) ROYAL GARDENS OF THE WORLD - Mark Lane
They say you should never judge a book by its cover but it is almost impossible not to fall in love with this one. Even if it was filled with blank pages, I would still want to have this book sitting handsomely at home. This book is a stunning exploration of 21 of the world's most celebrated royal gardens, from the delightful Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the organic, sustainable Highgrove to the Castle of Mey in Scotland. In mainland Europe, you can journey from the formal splendour of Het Loo in the Netherlands and Versailles in France to the Baroque World Heritage Site of the Royal Palace of Caserta in Southern Italy. Further afield, lies the Taj Mahal, the Tokyo Imperial Palace and Peter the Great's Summer Palace and Gardens in St Petersburg.
8) THE LITTLE BOOK OF VERSAILLES - Dominique Foufelle
Uncover the history of the palace of Versailles in this charming little book •The latest instalment in a series of pocket-sized guides Why did Louis XIII go to Versailles? How many kings of France have lived in this palace? Why did Louis XIV decide to live outside Paris? When did the king's court settle in the palace? Why did courtiers wear wigs? Who is the most famous chronicler of life in the time of Louis XIV's court? Which sovereign was the mostly badly damaged by the "Affair of the Diamond Necklace"? Which was the last king to live in the castle? Gloriously illustrated with pictures from the past, this little album charts the history of France's most famous castle over the course of four centuries, from its construction in 1631 to the signature of the Peace Treaty in 1919, passing by the women's march on Versailles in 1789.
9) COOK, EAT, REPEAT, - Nigella Lawson
I am a huge Nigella fan - I simply adore her passion for food and could watch her cooking until the end of time. She also writes in the most magnetic way with descriptions that almost transport you into her London kitchen. Within these chapters are more than a hundred new recipes for all seasons and tastes from Burnt Onion and Eggplant Dip to Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce; from Beef Cheeks with Port and Chestnuts to Ginger and Beetroot Yogurt Sauce. Those with a sweet tooth will delight in desserts including Rhubarb and Custard Trifle; Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake; and Cherry and Almond Crumble.
10) JOHN RICHARDSON: AT HOME - John Richardson
Famed Picasso biographer and art historian Sir John Richardson opens the doors of residences from his life, revealing an autobiographical sketch through handsomely decorated rooms filled with art, antiques, and intriguing mementoes, each with a special story.