Good for: a really useful overview of the whole process of garden design, from working out what you want to do in your space, to the plants and materials that you can use.
Good for: a sumptuous exploration of English gardens (with beautiful images by photographer Andrew Lawson) - read this, and you start to understand the many design styles and taste references that we have as gardeners.
Good for: a visual canter through a myriad ideas for gardens, from fences to fountains, planting to paving.
Good for: this is one of the most important books for understanding the value of landscape, and the potential it has for human enjoyment – all based on a deep understanding of our historic and cultural relationship with the land.
Good for: provides an all-in-one guide for small space gardeners and draws on the experience in growing, planting, landscaping and design for which the RHS is world famous.
Good for: exploring how to design an urban outdoor space, no matter the size or location - from balconies and roof terraces to courtyards, basement areas and front gardens, factoring in areas for relaxation, play and growing your own produce.
Good for: the book provides complete growing information for each plant and advice on how to use them to best effect.
Good for: offers keen gardeners, garden designers and landscape architects a unique insight into how Oudolf & Kingsbury combine these areas of expertise to create some of the world's most memorable parks and gardens
Good for: showing how to make beautiful gardens in which every element fits harmoniously into a whole.
Good for: simple and informative guide detailing the survey, through design, to construction and planting for designing real gardens on slopes.
The Royal Horticultural Society: Colour Your Garden by Jill Billington, Quadrille Publishing Ltd, 2004, ISBN: 978-1844000791
Good for: a great introduction to the concept of how and where to use colour, especially in terms of a plant's flowers and foliage combinations.
The New Tech Garden by Paul Cooper, Mitchell Beazley, 2007, ISBN: 978-1845332914
Good for: a visual feast of the unusual and rare materials, and combinations that can be used to create a one-off, unique garden.
The Book of Garden Plans by Andrew Wilson, Bounty Books, 2011, ISBN: 978-0753721070
Good for: those who want to draw out, to scale, their new design by looking at a range of different styles and artistic approaches to making a garden plan.
John Brookes' Garden Design by John Brookes, DK, 2001, ISBN: 978-0751309812
Good for: a real 'bible' for budding garden designers with wise words and plenty of inspiration from the man who helped form the concept of garden design in the UK.
All the above books are made available through the RHS garden libraries at Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor and Wisley and through the RHS Lindley Library.