Books

All of my books are available through Amazon in both the UK and the USA - check out my author page at


Ian Cooke Amazon author page



With colour foliage, flowers, bark and scent, shrubs are one of the most versatile and significant groups of plants for the gardener, and they come from all corners of the globe. This new book extols their virtues, and describes how to successfully design with them, grow and propagate them. There are thirty new and wonderful shrubs described and illustrated with planting suggestions.


Small gardens can be as versatile as their gardeners - personal, peaceful havens, sophisticated spaces for entertaining or bold showcases for plant displays. 
With fabulous palms, big bold banana leaves, colour flowers and flamboyant foliage, exotic gardens never fail to fascinate and excite a gardener. This inspirational book introduces the mouth-watering array of hardy and tender plants that can be used to create jungle-style landscapes in every garden. It explains their characteristics, and advises on how they can be planted and grown to produce a stunning display to be enjoyed even in temperate climates.

This is a simple and systematic guide to growing a selection of the tastiest fruit and vegetables. The aim of this book is to start you off with some easy-to-grow produce such as carrots, onions, radishes, tomatoes and strawberries. Once you have the confidence of the first growing season behind you, you can then progress to crops requiring slightly more labour, such as peas, beans and raspberries. When you grow your own produce, you can be absolutely sure that everything has been organically cared for and you can grow just the variety you like. You can pick the fruit and vegetables at their freshest without a tiresome journey to the supermarket. It's satisfying, it's economical and it's delicious.
As each summer brings the inevitable hosepipe ban, it is becoming increasingly obvious that gardening has to adapt to take account of climate change. However, regular droughts and dry periods should not stop people enjoying their gardens - or their plants.In this timely new book, Ian Cooke explains how it is still possible to have a beautiful garden with limited or dwindling water supplies. The first section covers the fundamentals of waterwise gardening, dealing with the issues of global warming, being green and looking at ways of storing and recycling water. The second section has lots of practical information and advice on improving your soil's water retention, using mulches, choosing drought-tolerant crops and irrigating successfully. Finally, there is a section on the aesthetics of dry gardening which includes an A-Z section of waterwise plants, as well as some planting schemes.Packed full if essential advice and useful information, this book cannot fail to be of interest to all gardeners whether beginner or experienced, as well as those who care about the environment.
"The Garden Handbook" is a 'how to do it book!' In 192 fact-filled pages, Ian Cooke, an experienced horticulturalist, explains how to tackle a raw new garden or tame an old overgrown one, and how to approach many common garden tasks from the basics of digging through to the fascinating skills of propagation. The production of fruit and vegetables for home consumption is thoroughly covered as well as ornamental gardening and lawncraft. Just starting and want to know what to do this month? Check out the Gardening Calendar. Confused by herbs, herbaceous and herbicide? Look it up in the glossary. Want to know how to plant a tree, make compost, construct pool or propagate blackcurrants? It's all here in "The Garden Handbook".

Today's gardener has literally hundreds of different grasses and bamboos to choose from. They embody a huge range of textures, forms, sizes, colours and flowering times, meaning that there is something suitable for every garden in every climate. This book goes back to basics and describes what grasses and bamboos are and then moves on to detail planting information, buying tips, cultivation, propagation and how to display them - whether you want to create a sub-tropical garden or simply make a stunning feature in a terracotta pot. Invaluable A-Z lists of the most useful and easily grown grasses and bamboos are also included. This is a thoroughly practical book packed with step-by-step projects, planting plans, hints, tips, lists and box features so that the information is easily accessible.


This guide to cannas provides information on aspects of cultivation, propagation and controlling pests and diseases. It also includes an insight into the botany and history of cannas, and advice on the best use of the plants in garden setting.

For specialist collectors, amateur gardeners and conservatory owners, this guide contains a comprehensive and up-to-date list of species and varieties from all over the world. The fully illustrated directory describes over 250 plants, includes information on garden usage, cultural tips and background information on their origin.