The Garden Media Guild Book Awards 2011
The Garden Media Guild Awards celebrate the best in garden writing - including books, newspapers and magazines - photography, broadcasting - TV and radio - and new media - including gardening websites and gardening blogs. They are the garden media 'Oscars'.
Practical Book of the Year
Winner Grow Something to Eat Everyday by Jo Whittingham, published by Dorling Kindersley.
Judges' comments Standards of writing, layout/design and photography shone out from a significant number of entries making the selection of the winning title a weighty challenge.
A substantial number of publications focused on food production – an ‘on trend’ subject. The most notable entrants were titles that cleverly balanced the author’s personal anecdotal style with friendly, but instructive guidance, and that served both the tentative beginner and more experienced gardener in a single title. The judges’ top five entries reflect this.
Jo Whittingham’s Grow something to eat everyday stood out head and shoulders above the rest for its innovative approach to layout and attractive design, together with first-class writing. Comprehensive and accessible, this book is not only perfect for beginners but also doubles up as an easy-to-dip-into reference book for the more experienced vegetable gardener.
The ten minute gardeners’ flower growing diary by Val Bourne, published by Bantham Press.
River Cottage Handbook No. 9 – Fruit by Mark Diacono, published by Bloomsbury.
The Edible Balcony by Alex Mitchell, published by Kyle Cathie
RHS Complete Gardener’s Manual by Simon Akeroyd, Zia Allaway, Helena Caldon, Martyn Cox & Jenny Hendy, published by Dorling Kindersley.
Reference Book of the Year
Winner Trees: A lifetime’s journey through forests, woods and gardens by Hugh Johnson, published by Mitchell Beazley.
Judges' comments This was a very strong category, wide-ranging in subject matter and approach, in which there were many worthy contenders for the shortlist.
What distinguishes our five finalists, however, in addition to clarity, authority and ease of use, is the way these authors convey their passion as well as their knowledge, presenting information that can be detailed and complex in a way that is always engaging, never dry, and often extremely well written.
The judges were unanimous in selecting the winner: not only an essential book for every gardener’s library, but pure pleasure to read. The sub-title is your first clue that this will be so much more than an encyclopedia: thorough, scholarly, enormous in its scope, but also intensely personal, offering not only information but insight
The observations of a lifetime are supplemented with excellent sections on botany, history, selection and management, evocative photography, and superb diagrams and illustrations. Rarely has such a weight of information been communicated with such lightness and grace.
Designing with Grasses by Neil Lucas, published by Timber Press.
Small Green Roofs: low-tech options for greener living by Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little & Edmund C Snodgrass, published by Timber Press.
The Allotment Source Book by Caroline Foley, published by New Holland.
Aloes, the Definitive Guide by S Carter, JJ Lavranos, LE Newton and CC Walker, published by Kew Publishing.
Inspirational Book of the Year
Winner Home Ground: sanctuary in the city by Dan Pearson, published by Octopus.
Judges' comments Beautifully understated design, simple structure, sublime photography and Dan Pearson’s calm and natural writing style, all contribute to make this a quiet triumph.
The Resilient Garden by Marylyn Abbott, published by Kyle Books.
My garden, the city and me by Helen Babbs, published by Timber Press.
The Smallest Kingdom by Mike & Liz Fraser, published by Kew Publishing.
Our Plot by Cleve West, published by Frances Lincoln.