Colour by Design

 The ultimate coffee table gardening book?

I don't think a list of favourite gardening books can possibly miss out Colour by Design. This book is amazing, if slightly daunting, for a gardener of random design habits.

Colour by Design

Nori and Sandra Pope, photographs by Clive Nichols.

The colour concepts (and the photography) in this book will leave any reader spellbound, and possibly a little downhearted - wouldn't these beautifully colour-structured borders would be difficult to emulate? But I guess that's not the point.

This is a book I return to from time to time, particularly if I'm trying to plan sensibly. Perversely I will never follow its advice. I never feel quite artistic enough.

It says something about my budget nature that the plant I most admired in the colour co-ordinated borders was Red Orach (which I believe is a throw-away annual - possibly grown for stock feed). And I got terribly excited about a dead-looking brown New Zealand tussock which was mentioned. Ooops...

The authors have even visited New Zealand and given some lectures here (I didn't go).