Reading into the seasons:

Our top nature book picks

Table of Contents

There is a profound joy in slowing down, allowing ourselves to be fully absorbed in the pages of a book, experiencing respite from our fast-paced world as we journey through the vivid landscapes woven by words.

Our curated collection of spring-inspired books is an invitation to immerse yourself in the season of renewal and growth. These selections capture the natural essence of this time of year: from the awakening of dormant landscapes; to the first joyful bursts of colour; and life after the winter thaw. Each book is a carefully chosen exploration of new beginnings, featuring narratives that range from the poetic emergence of both flora and fauna to human stories of rejuvenation and rediscovery. Perfect for reading under the gentle warmth of the spring sun or while listening to the soothing sounds of April showers, our list aims to deepen your connection to this vibrant season. Whether it’s tales of gardens coming back to life or the transformative power of seasonal living, these books promise to inspire and uplift, echoing the hopeful spirit of springtime.

SELF HELP

Ebb & Flow - Tiffany Frances Baker

Illustrated throughout with sketches, prints and paintings by the author, Ebb and Flow introduces seasonal living and explains why it is increasingly vital for us to reconnect with the seasons. Tiffany Francis-Baker offers practical, science-backed advice demonstrating the mental and physical health benefits of practising mindful, seasonal living.

Following the Pagan Wheel of the Year through a nature-led calendar, Francis-Baker explains the origins of seasonal Pagan and Celtic names, traditions and events. She outlines the short- and long-term benefits of leading slower lives and encourages us to enjoy closer connections with nature and healthier relationships with our own well-being.

COOKERY / FOOD

Time - Gill Meller

Former River Cottage head chef Gill Meller distills the essence of his approach to food and cooking – time spent in the kitchen, with good ingredients, makes for the best possible way of life. Morning, daytime and night – these are the touchstones of our days, and days are the markers of our years. Gill’s unique dishes fit within this framework, moving through the seasons, from freshness and light, to comfort and warmth. Gill’s dishes follow the course of the day: simple breakfasts, glorious seasonal lunches, and evening gatherings in the soft glow of summer or chill of winter.

a woman slices a loaf of crusty bread.

ANTHOLOGIES

Spring: An Anthology for the changing seasons - Melissa Harrison

It is a time of awakening. In our fields, hedgerows and woodlands, our beaches, cities and parks, an almost imperceptible shift soon becomes a riot of sound and colour: winter ends, and life surges forth once more. In prose and poetry both old and new, Spring mirrors the unfolding of the season, inviting us to see what’s around us with new eyes. Featuring original writing by Rob Cowen, Miriam Darlington and Stephen Moss, classic extracts from the work of George Orwell, Clare Leighton and H. E. Bates, and fresh new voices from across the UK, this is an original and inspiring collection of nature writing that brings the British springtime to life in all its vivid glory.

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ADULT FICTION

The Enchanted April - Elizabeth Von Arnim

The discreet advertisement in The Times, addressed ‘To Those who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine’, offers a small medieval castle for rent, above a bay on the Italian Riviera. Four very different women – the dishevelled and downtrodden Mrs Wilkins, the sad, sweet-faced Mrs Arbuthnot, the formidable widow Mrs Fisher and the ravishing socialite Lady Caroline Dester – are drawn to the shores of the Mediterranean that April. As each, in turn, blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring and finds their spirits stirring, quite unexpected changes occur.

YOUTH FICTION

The Wild - Yumal Zommer

Once upon a time, somewhere not far away, was the Wild. The Wild was huge and giving, and everything from insects, to birds, to humans made their home in it. At first, people lived lightly and took what they needed, but when they started to take more, the Wild suffered. For the Wild to be healthy, someone must be brave enough to raise their voice . . .

Yuval Zommer’s lyrical modern fable has a hopeful and powerful message about how our environment needs us just as much as we need it.

a beautiful stream with water flowing around rocks and autumn trees all around

KIDS NON-FICTION

Wild Child - Dara McNalty

Wild Child: A Journey Through Nature is a beautiful gift book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls, and divided into five chapters: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank.

Dara pauses to tell you about each habitat and provides fantastic facts about the native birds, animals and plants you will find there – including wrens, blackbirds, butterflies, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, hen harriers, otters, dandelions, oak trees and many, many more. Each chapter contains a discovery section where you will get a closer look at natural phenomena such as metamorphoses and migration, learn about categorization in the animal kingdom or become an expert on the collective nouns for birds.
Every chapter ends with an activity to do when you get home – you will be shown how to make a bird feeder, try pond dipping, make a journey stick and build a terrarium and more. Dara closes the book with his own inspirational advice for young conservationists. This is the perfect guide for an aspiring naturalist.

red and white toadstools stand in the brown earth

SUPPORT LOCAL

All of these books are available to buy online or at the usual large retailers. However, please consider supporting your local independent bookshops, or why not search for a good preloved copy? We believe stepping into the world of independent bookshops is like unlocking a secret garden of stories, each purchase a magical act of support weaving a closer-knit community and nurturing the enchanting, diverse universe of literature.

One of our local favourites is the wonderful Folde Dorset in Shaftesbury. Did you know that if you have a favourite bookstore you can often buy from them online too? Folde sells their books through bookshop.org – as do many others, so even if you cant get to them you can support them.

MOVE WITH THE SEASONS

For a simple way to honour the cadence of nature, we have a candle for each of the four seasons, reflecting the natural aromas at each turn of the year. These help us to tune into the changing rhythms of nature and bring the outside in.

fresh & citral

notes of bergamot & mint

sweet & exotic

notes of citrus & patchouli

spicy & herbal

notes of cedarwood & thyme

sweet & woody

notes of orange & fir needle

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