July 28, 2023

Book Worms

Get some outdoor inspiration for when the weather starts to warm with these gardening books from Imprints Booksellers.

THE MAGIC OF MUSHROOMS: Fungi in Folklore, Superstition and Traditional Medicine
Sandra Lawrence
Welbeck $29.99 HB

Explore the wonderful world of some of the most incredible natural forms on our planet – fungi. At the centre of countless superstitions, folkloric tales and magical beliefs, as well as appearing in recipes and medicines both traditional and modern, mushrooms have incredible powers. This book features images of more than 100 fascinating species, sourced from the archives at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Magic of Mushrooms shows that from saving lives to expanding the mind, the potential of these fascinating organisms should not be underestimated.


Simon Barnes
Simon & Schuster $55 HB

From the author of The History of the World in 100 Animals, comes an inspirational book that looks at the 100 plants that have had the greatest impact on humanity, stunningly illustrated throughout. Plants give us food. They take in carbon dioxide and push out oxygen; give us the air we breathe, direct the rain that falls and moderate the climate. Plants also give us shelter, beauty, comfort, meaning, buildings, boats, containers, musical instruments, medicines and religious symbols. Across history we have used plants to kill, to fuel wars, to change our state of consciousness. Our past is all about plants, our present is all tied up with plants; and without plants there is no future.


Catherine Best
Hardie Grant $45 PB

Ultimate Caravan Trips: Australia is your ticket to #vanlife. This caravanner’s travel bible lifts the lid on 40 of the best adventures you can have on six (or eight) wheels. Organised into state and territory chapters, it is packed with wanderlust to inspire your next caravan trip, from weekend escapes to week-long breaks and multi-destination touring itineraries. Get the lowdown on park facilities, when to go, how to get there and what to see and do when you arrive. There are reviews, as well as handy hacks for your ‘vanning vacation, and local intel on where to fill your water tanks, empty your toilet cassette and swap a gas bottle.


Richard Heathcote (Ed.)
Wakefield Press $59.95 HB

From the late 1930s, Carrick Hill was the home of one of Adelaide’s most prestigious couples, Adelaide heiress Ursula (nee Barr-Smith) and successful businessman Edward Hayward. Their foothills mansion was alive with social gatherings at which guests from all walks of life were welcomed and entertained. The fragrance of freshly gathered flowers filled the stately rooms. In Carrick Hill: A Portrait, Christopher Legoe, Bill Hayward, Richard Heathcote and Jane Hylton tell the story of Australia’s most intact 20th-century house, bequeathed by Ursula and Edward Hayward to the people of South Australia. Historical images and reproductions of many artworks take us into a bygone era of luxurious living, generosity and style.


Michael McCoy
Hardie Grant $70 HB

In this beautifully photographed book, TV host and garden designer, Michael McCoy, shows us the challenges and rewards in creating gorgeous yet functional gardens and outdoor spaces. In each chapter he explores the transformation of the garden through a Q&A with the designer, providing an insight into their approach as well as highlighting important aspects of design in the garden they have created. Showcasing the central ideas to garden design and featuring a wide variety of challenging spaces, from tiny plots in the inner city, suburban blocks, sandy seaside properties to expansive country acreages, this book proves that great design can always find a perfect solution to suit an owner’s needs.


WILD EDENS: The History and Habitat of our Most-Loved Garden Plants
Toby Musgrave and Chris Gardner
Kyle Books $85 HB

Explore the world through a horticultural lens in Wild Edens, an armchair traveller’s guide to interesting plants from around the world. Discover the fascinating history and origins of unique flora, often from hard-to-reach locations in the globe’s most abundant biodiversity hotspots, such as Ixia dubia in the Western Cape and the Mediterranean’s Crocus biflorus. Each chapter includes a map, personal reflections from the author about exploring these locations, scene-setting descriptions on topography, geography, climate and flora, key botanical locations within the hotspot, a plant compendium and summary of how the plants impacted garden fashions and styles.


This article first appeared in the Autumn 2023 issue of SALIFE Gardens & Outdoor Living magazine.

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