Welcome to the first edition of Weekend Reading! This week's theme follows last week's #NationalGardeningWeek; as the days are longer and brighter, we're itching to flex our green fingers and get out there in the garden. Whether you're growing vegetables, planting bountiful blooms or hoping to grow a burgeoning herb garden for your own kitchen stores, we've rounded up our favourite useful gardening reads of 2017. Bookmark the ones you love - here's this week's Weekend Reading: A Gardening Edition.
Country Living magazine is always full of fantastic tips for everyday life in the country; whether that's sprucing up a country cottage with the latest trends in homewares and interiors to family picnics and gardening! If you're totally new to growing your own vegetables - whether you're planting in pots, your garden or have an allotment - these helpful top tips cover all the important aspects of vegetable growing. From rotation and soil to compost and variety, you'll have your own bountiful harvest in no time.
If you're fairly new to gardening but fancy planting something seasonal and pretty, this handy guide from Garden Answers magazine is just what you need to plant ahead and ensure beautiful blooms all year round. There's something for all tastes and spaces - whether you're looking for blousy blooms to make a big statement in a small space, or delicate wildflowers to complement a large garden to lose yourself in. Choose from bergenia and hyacinths for Spring, clematis and dahlia for Summer, agapanthus and physalis alkekengi for Autumn and iris and hellebores for Winter!
Choosing a garden style can often be tricky and you may feel restricted by your space. Exploring five different main styles, you'll find the perfect way to plant and style your garden or even feel inspired to mix two unique styles; for little patches you want to make the most of or the rolling half acre you hardly know where to start with. The expert team at The English Garden magazine suggest closing your eyes and picturing how you want your space to look and feel; your dream space can be achieved if you know where to start!
Who doesn't long to wander through the garden barefoot and reach up to a branch heavy with its bounty to pick a soft, ripe organic fruit all for the eating? These quick tips help you choose your ideal summer fruit according to climate, variety and what you're using them for - whether you're making jam or chopping them up for a fruit salad. Grow Your Own magazine is full of fantastic tips all year round to help you grow your very own herbs, fruit and vegetables in your very own back garden. With useful tips on soil, plant and tree care, troubleshooting common issues and photography of great results from the gardening community, it's a great monthly read.
If you're finding your plants are wilting or slow to grow no matter your time or care, your soil could be the issue. Catch up on the latest from the gardening team at BBC Gardeners World, who explain how to test your soil with a PH kit (widely available at garden centres nationwide) as well as by taking a look at neighbouring gardens to see which flowers are thriving and which are failing. Pretty flowering shrubs like camellias and rhododendrons thrive in acidic soil, while yew trees and clematis plants prefer chalkier alkaline soil.
Inspired to get the latest gardening advice? Browse our fabulous gardening magazine subscriptions for your monthly fix of garden wisdom from the experts!