During my interview with garden design superstar Bernard Trainor a few weeks back, the conversation turned to books that answer questions we didn’t even know we had. I don’t mean that they answered questions that we didn’t care about. They proposed a line of enquiry that we hadn’t acknowledged before - didn’t even know existed, in fact - in which we were immediately intensely interested in. I mentioned Christopher Alexander’s ground breaking ‘A Pattern Language’ (Oxford University Press 1977), and Bernard returned with ‘Courtyards’ by John S. Reynolds (Wiley and Sons, Inc. 2002). I’d never heard of it, so immediately ordered a copy via Abebooks. It’s outrageous. It has never occurred to me how much there was so much to know about courtyards!

I had a similar experience reading James Hitchmough's 'Sowing Beauty' (Timber Press 2017). It gave me answers to questions I didn't know existed, but desperately wanted to know the answer to once they'd been asked.

I LOVE these kind of books. What books have taken YOU to that place?