Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Garden & Design Books For Your Christmas Wish List


The pub date for this much-anticipated book about one of London's most legendary style icons keeps changing, but latest news has its release date as Dec 1. The book, which is certain to be as flamboyant as its subject matter, is both celebration of Anouska Hempel's (Lady Weinberg's) design achievements and an intimate insight into her world and life. The book is divided into thirteen chapters, and includes insights into the interiors and gardens of her country home Cole Park, her yacht 'Beluga', her hotels – including Blakes in South Kensington – plus dozens of other interiors, architecture and garden projects.

There's a wonderful slideshow of her country home Cole Park in the inimitable Archi Digest (here), from which these images are taken.

Cole Park is renowned for its gardens, which feature dozens of clipped topiary and box shrubs, creating a fiercely architectural look.

Anouska's bedroom at Cole Park is partly decorated in hessian, or burlap, which shows the designer has a quiet sense of humour beneath her carefully controlled facade.

An interior view of Hempel's yacht 'Beluga', which is part pirate ship, part floating Louis Vuitton trunk.

Written by Marcus Binney.
Published by Thames & Hudson.
December 2014. 
 $54 (Amazon)


It's only just been published but already Stuart Rattle's book is causing great excitement among gardeners, designers, bloggers and book lovers. Produced as a tribute to Rattle after he passed away last year, it's a beautiful look at his much-loved garden and home at Musk Farm, and his unique style of decorating and design, which won him so many fans over the decades.
A true gentleman, Stuart's legacy lives on in this stunning title.

Published by Lantern/Penguin. 
October 2014.
Foreword by Paul Bangay.
Photography by Earl Carter and Simon Griffiths.


England does country houses – and country house gardens – like no other nation on earth, and this elegant title takes us behind the grand gates to see inside dozens of beautifully designed garden spaces.With chapters on perennial favourites such as Hidcote, Kifsgate and other gorgeous English gardens, it would make a lovely Christmas gift for those who love – and frequent – these inspirational places. It's already become a bestseller on Amazon. There's a lovely article on the book here

Written by George Plumptre.
Published by Frances Lincoln.
October 2014.
$25 (Amazon)


Another garden lover, New York designer Robert Couturier is almost as well known for his grand country garden in Connecticut as he is for his urban interiors in Manhattan. With a preface by Carolyne Roehm and photos by Tim Street-Porter, this book is just as sophisticated as its subject matter.

Published by Rizzoli. October 2014.


Oh, how I would have loved to have written this book, but Jackie Bennett has done a much better job! Featuring writers' garden far and wide, including Virginia Woolf's charming home, it's a delightful look at how literary inspiration can often stem (sorry for the pun) from cultivating a garden. Jackie is the former editor of the Garden Design Journal and a regular writer for The English Garden magazine, and has done a superb job of capturing the connection between writing and horticulture. There's a great Q&A interview here.

Published by Frances Lincoln.
November 2014

And a few more beautiful recommendations for the Christmas stocking...


  1. I'd especially like to see The Writer's Garden under the Christmas tree! Lots of beautiful and inspirational material here, Janelle.

    1. Doesn't it look good? Have put that on the Santa List too Kathy!

  2. Janelle I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such amazing stories with us. I love nothing better than at the end of a hectic week to sit down and open your blog. Although I'm not a gardener I'm fascinated by the history of people and places and through your gorgeous descriptions and beautiful photos find myself immersed in a whole new world. You have such a way with words I can often imagine myself in situ, so thanks again for the escapism.

    1. Dearest Nanette, I am so sorry for the delay in replying: have been away for work and hard to stay on top of everything, Thank you for your kind and thoughtful note. So touched to hear from you, as with all the Library's readers. And you're very welcome: I'm just as glad that the book recs are of use to you! Thank you again.


Thank you for stopping by. It's always lovely hearing from The Library's readers.

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