"Planting with Nature: A Guide to Sustainable Gardening" by Kirsty Wilson is a lovely book and one it's a sheer joy to read or simply leaf through and admire. Author Kirsty Wilson is a Garden Manager at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and illustrator Hazel France is a Glasshouse Horticulturist at the RGBE. With a foreword by the Regius Keeper of the same institution and indications on the cover that's been published in conjunction with them, you get a strong sense that this is book produced with a very specific market in mind: visitors to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh who are looking for something eye-catching and attractive to buy in the gift shop there.
While that is very probably the case, it quickly becomes clear to anyone looking beyond the beautifully drawn and presented illustrations that there is a great deal between the covers that is of practical value to any gardener who has wondered how to do their bit to support local wildlife, improve their health or make a contribution to tackling the climate crisis. The book is very practical in its approach. The thirteen chapters each look at a specific topic, including creating a nectar border; planting a wildflower meadow, creating a native hedgerow or a rain garden or green roofs and living walls. Combining nature with fruit and vegetable production is covered, as are bug houses, wildlife ponds, propagation and compost production. Yes, this book would make the ideal gift for the gardener in your life. But it's far more than that too.
As the publishers say in their description: "By re-imagining how we plan and use our gardens, we can all do our bit to support local wildlife, improve our health and help tackle the climate crisis. Positive steps, no matter how small, can really make a difference. This is a practical, easy-to-use guide for anyone who wants to boost nature in their patch and make the world a little greener. Illustrated with specially commissioned drawings, it contains essential information on many topics, from planting nectar-rich borders, native hedgerows, trees and wildflower meadows to creating rain gardens, green roofs and ponds. These activities, together with providing homes and feeders for birds, mammals, amphibians, bees and other insects, will encourage many kinds of native wildlife to thrive in your garden, whatever its size. Expert advice is also provided on sustainable gardening approaches to fruit and vegetable production, making compost and the propagation of new plants."