Book picks similar to
Perch Hill by Adam Nicolson


gardening
nature
non-fiction
memoir

It's Not Easy Being Green: A Family's Journey Towards Eco-Friendly Living


Dick Strawbridge - 2006
    To accompany the BBC2 TV series, this book chronicles the Strawbridge family's journey from a perfectly normal life and house in the Midlands to a self-sufficient environmentally friendly dream home in the West Country. Written by the flamboyant, moustachioed, eccentric presenter, Dick the Colonel Strawbridge, this book is an inspiration to people thinking of becoming eco-friendly or even just a bit greener. Full of specially commissioned color photos and screen grabs, it is also full of practical advice, with essential addresses and contact details at the end.

My Roots: A Decade in the Garden


Montagu Don - 2005
    This work is a collection of 50 of Monty's best columns, that will provide a practical guide and a poetic record of the garden's changing seasons.

A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm


Edwin Way Teale - 1974
    Considered by many to be his greatest book, it is as relevant today as when it was first published.

A Very Small Farm


William Paul Winchester - 2006
    As a subsistence farmer, he builds his own house and barn, puts in a garden and an orchard, acquires a milk cow, and takes up beekeeping. In these pages, we hear his thoughts on such subjects as the weather, seasonal changes, machinery repair, the flora and fauna of the region, and vegetarian cooking. His philosophy, like his lifestyle, is simple, yet profoundly wise.

The Fat of the Land


John Seymour - 1961
    More than fifty years on, The Fat of the Land remains an important and inspiring book and retains its power to make us think carefully about our own lives.

Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside


Andrea di Robilant - 2014
    Andrea di Robilant’s tale takes us back to the time of Josephine Bonaparte, as well as into some of the most delightful rose gardens in Italy today, brought to colorful life on the page in the watercolors of artist Nina Fuga.   In his 2008 biography of the Venetian lady Lucia Mocenigo (his great-great-great-great- grandmother), di Robilant described a pink rose that grows wild on the family’s former country estate, mentioning its light peach-and-raspberry scent. This passing detail led to an invitation for an audience with a local rose doyenne, Eleonora Garlant. She and other experts wondered if di Robilant’s unnamed rose could possibly be one of the long-lost China varieties that nineteenth-century European growers had cultivated but which have since disappeared. On the hunt for the identity of his anonymous yet quietly distinctive rose, Di Robilant finds himself captivated by roseophiles through time––from Lucia and her friend Josephine Bonaparte to the gifted Eleonora, whose garden of nearly fifteen hundred varieties of old roses is one of the most significant in Europe––and by the roses themselves, each of which has a tale to tell. What starts out as a lighthearted quest becomes a meaningful journey as di Robilant contemplates the enduring beauty of what is passed down to us in a rose, through both the generosity of nature and the cultivating hand of human beings, who for centuries have embraced and extended the life of this mysterious flower.

My Wild Garden: Notes from a Writer's Eden


Meir Shalev - 2017
    Often covered in mud and scrapes, Shalev cultivates both nomadic plants and "house dwellers," using his own quirky techniques. He extolls the virtues of the lemon tree; rescues a precious variety of purple snapdragon from the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway; does battle with a saboteur mole rat. He even gives us his superior private recipe for curing olives. The book will attract gardeners and literary readers alike, with its appreciation for the joy of living, quite literally, on earth, and for our borrowed time on a particular patch of it--enhanced, the author continually reminds us, by our honest, respectful dealings with all manner of beings who inhabit it with us.

The Accidental Naturalist


Ben Fogle - 2012
    As a young boy his best friends were Liberty and Lexington, the family dogs. Then there was Milly the puma-sized cat, Jaws the goldfish and three very 'charismatic' parrots, not to mention a whole host of weird and wonderful animals that came through the doors of his father's veterinary practice.Then came Inca, Ben's adorable black Labrador, who changed his life. Since first melting the nation's heart on Castaway, the duo have been inseparable. With Inca's help, Ben was soon charming worms and tickling trout on Countryfile, minding the big cats on Animal Park and fronting the BBC's coverage of Crufts.Ben's passion for wildlife has taken him all over the world, from the plains of Africa to the sea ice of Antarctica. He has played with penguins, been chased by bull elephant seals and tapirs, and helped operate on a cheetah. He has given mud packs to rhinos, bathed with elephants and risked life and limb diving with Nile crocodiles, all the while campaigning tirelessly for conservation, the environment and animal welfare.Hair-raising, heart-breaking and wildly entertaining, The Accidental Naturalist tells the extraordinary true stories of Ben's amazing encounters with animals and how they changed his life.

Wild Idea: Buffalo and Family in a Difficult Land


Dan O'Brien - 2014
    Working as a writer and an endangered-species biologist, he became convinced that returning grass-fed, free-roaming buffalo to the grasslands of the northern plains would return natural balance to the region and reestablish the undulating prairie lost through poor land management and overzealous farming. In 1998 he bought his first buffalo and began the task of converting a little cattle ranch into an ethically run buffalo ranch. Wild Idea is a book about how good food choices can influence federal policies and the integrity of our food system, and about the dignity and strength of a legendary American animal. It is also a book about people: the daughter coming to womanhood in a hard landscape, the friend and ranch hand who suffers great tragedy, the venture capitalist who sees hope and opportunity in a struggling buffalo business, and the husband and wife behind the ranch who struggle daily, wondering if what they are doing will ever be enough to make a difference. At its center, Wild Idea is about a family and the people and animals that surround them—all trying to build a healthy life in a big, beautiful, and sometimes dangerous land.

Up with the Lark: My Life on the Land


Joan Bomford - 2015
    is an ode both to the soil, and those who have worked it alongside her' Daily Telegraph Joan Bomford wanted to be a farmer so much she always wore a tie like her dad. She ran away from school whenever she could to help him. As an 8 year-old she was the first person in the family to drive a tractor. No job was ever too tough for her. Now aged 83, she's still as active, still driving tractors, still feeding the farm's beef cattle and horses, and still giving riding lessons.This is her account of a lifelong love-affair with the land and the people who work on it. With the warmth and wit of a born story teller, she tells us what it's been like to live through an era of enormous change, her love of animals kindled by her father's shire horses who did all the heavy work until machinery took over. Up With The Lark is not only the portrait of a forgotten era, but also the story of one woman's overwhelming desire to do the thing she cared about more than anything else - being Farmer Joan.

Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White & Elizabeth Lawrence--A Friendship in Letters


Emily Herring Wilson - 2002
    White was also a great garden enthusiast. In March 1958 she began publishing her popular column, "Onward and Upward in the Garden." Her first column elicited loads of fan mail, but one letter in particular caught her attention. From Elizabeth Lawrence, a noted southern garden writer, it was filled with suggestions and encouragement. When Katharine wrote back her appreciation, she reported on her Maine garden and discussed the plants and books that interested her. Thus began a correspondence that would last for almost twenty years, until Katharine's death in 1977. Two Gardeners is a collection of these luminous letters, edited and introduced by Emily Herring Wilson. The letters bring to life the unique epistolary friendship between two intelligent women, the "formidable" Mrs. White and the "shy" Miss Lawrence, both avid gardeners and readers, both at a stage of life when to make a new friend was rare indeed: when they first wrote to one another, Katharine was sixty-two, Elizabeth, fifty-four.More than 150 letters went back and forth during the course of their correspondence, though Katharine and Elizabeth would meet face-to-face only once. Whether talking about gardens or books, friends or family, each held a special place in the other's life.Illustrated with photographs of both Katharine White and Elizabeth Lawrence, their families, gardens, and houses, this book is a special treat for gardeners, literature lovers, and anyone who delights in reading about women's friendships.

Behaving as If the God in All Life Mattered


Machaelle Small Wright - 1986
    Her personal story is one of triumph, from a childhood of torment and isolation to discovery of her ability to communicate with the world of nature spirits and devas. At "Perelandra," her 45-acre private nature research center in Virginia, Machaelle devotes her life to understanding and demonstrating a new approach to ecological balance: * The foundation and development of co-creative gardening * The ecological effects of humans * The roles of the animal, mineral and plant kingdoms * Humankind's unrealized custodianship of Planet Earth A book beyond theory, Behaving as if the God in ALl Life Mattered will excite the minds and capture the hearts of all who dare to dream of a dynamic world of harmony and compassionate living.

The Lambs: My Father, a Farm, and the Gift of a Flock of Sheep


Carole George - 2018
    Jane Goodall, DBE; Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of PeaceIn this touching memoir about the relationship between father, daughter, and animals, Carole explores life after adopting thirteen pet Karakul lambs. Throughout her years with the lambs and her aging father, she comes to realize the distinct personality of each creature, and to understand more fully the almost spiritual bond between man and animals.This is a beautiful book in every way that will touch the hearts of readers everywhere.“In her new book, The Lambs, Carole George shares the fulfillment she has experienced over years tending a flock of sheep. I hope that this book will inspire readers to become more compassionate toward the living beings deprived of the many privileges we humans enjoy.” —His Holiness The Dalai Lama“The Lambs is beautifully written, and right on target as an example of the natural—pastoral—world where we may achieve the fullness of human experience. Our descendants may gravitate toward the equivalent of [Carole’s] Virginia farm.” —Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway: Gardening and Surviving Against the Odds


Kate Bradbury - 2018
    She documents the unbuttoning of the earth and the rebirth of the garden, the rewilding of a tiny urban space. On her own she unscrews, saws, and hammers the decking away, she clears the builders' rubble and rubbish beneath it, and she digs and enriches the soil, gradually planting it up with plants she knows will attract wildlife. She erects bird boxes and bee hotels, hangs feeders and grows nectar- and pollen-rich plants, and slowly brings life back to the garden.But while she's doing this her neighbors continue to pave and deck their gardens. The wildlife she tries to save is further threatened, and she feels she's fighting an uphill battle. Is there any point in gardening for wildlife when everyone else is drowning the land in poison and cement?Throughout her story, Kate draws on an eclectic and eccentric cast of friends and colleagues, who donate plants and a greenhouse, tolerate her gawping at butterflies at Gay Pride, and accompany her on trips to visit rare bumblebees and nightingales.

Hovel in the Hills: An Account of the Simple Life


Elizabeth West - 1977