Related to: 'Rhapsody in Green: A Novelist, an Obsession and a Laughably Small Excuse for a Garden'

By Terence Conran

Plain Simple Useful

Terence Conran has always believed that objects – and surroundings – that are plain, simple and useful are the key to easy living. Here are three projects to get you started on creating a contemporary living space.

Kyle Books

30 Years at Ballymaloe: A celebration of the world-renowned cookery school with over 100 new recipes

Darina Allen
Authors:
Darina Allen

When Ballymaloe's doors opened to students in 1983 there were 15 courses available. Now there are over 100, reflected in the recipes collected here, including curing meat, making gluten-free meals and sushi as well as learning forgotten skills like producing butter and cheese and beekeeping. The book chronicles how the school has been at the forefront of cooking and food trends since its inception, from Darina's championing of the Slow Food movement and her highlighting the importance of using local, seasonal and fresh produce to installing a wood-burning oven and expanding its gardens so students can learn the importance of eating less meat and more veg and preserving heirloom varieties of produce. A fascinating insight into Ballymaloe, this is also a history of food over the past thirty years, from a time when Darina couldn't get anything other than pre-packaged, grated Parmesan cheese to one where a local producer makes his own mozzarella.

Mitchell Beazley

RHS Latin for Gardeners

Amber Butchart

Amber specialises in the historical intersections between dress, politics and culture. She has written books on the perennial influence of nautical dress and the impact of film on fashion, and she is regularly asked to speak at cultural hotspots from the Tate to the V&A. Amber recently presented A Stitch in Time, a six-part series on BBC Four that fused biography, art and the history of fashion to explore the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore. It was described as "snappy and engaging" by The Guardian, "hugely enjoyable" by The Telegraph and "mesmerising" by the Radio Times. This was followed by Civilisations Stories: The First Refugees for BBC One and BBC Four, about the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields for the landmark BBC Civilisations season. Her two-part documentary for BBC Radio 4 tracked the rise of vintage clothing and the global ramifications of secondhand style (see here for more). Amber's expertise spans a number of areas. She is a National Crime Agency External Advisor as a Consultant Forensic Garment Analyst, working with Alecto Forensics on cases that require investigation of clothing and textiles. She is an Associate Lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies at London College of Fashion, and a former Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London. She has penned articles for The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times, Icon and The Pool, and is a regular contributor to Frieze.?Amber began her career as Head Buyer and Trend Analyst for international vintage clothing company Beyond Retro. During this time she was interviewed for The Observer as one of the fashion world's best buyers and photographed for Vogue as a girl with great British style. She established the Beyond Retro Design Archive which sells vintage inspiration pieces to global fashion houses, and she was a contributor to leading trend forecasting company WGSN. She has also worked as a design consultant for fashion brands.?Amber is one half of creative collaboration the Broken Hearts, whose spectacular DJ sets were described by The Independent as "a Hollywood musical on hallucinogenics." Together they have graced stages across the globe from Paris to New York and Hong Kong for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton. Their weekly primetime radio show on Jazz FM ran for over 3 years, earning them a Radio Academy Award nomination, and was described by The Guardian as "a cool swing music show hosted by two vintage style icons." To find out more, visit their website.

Carol Klein

Best-known as co-presenter of BBC TV's "Gardeners' World", Carol Klein is an internationally renowned gardener. Marchester-born Carol moved to Devon in the late 1970s with her two daughters. She started propagating plants because she couldn't afford to buy the ones she wanted for her own garden. Friends suggested she sell the spares, so Carol opened a stall in the local market, and eventually she opened her own nursery which is now a thriving business. Carol has designed four commercial show gardens at Chelsea, won five Cheslsea gold medals. Carol has presented several gardening shows since her television debut on Gardeners' World in 1989, including Garden Party, Wild About the Garden and Real Gardens. Carol also writes regularly for Gardeners World magazine, House & Garden and is a frequent contributor to the Daily Telegraph Gardening section.

Darina Allen

Darina Allen is Ireland's best-known food ambassador and the bestselling author of Ballymaloe Cookery Course and Forgotten Skills of Cooking, which won the prestigious André Simon award in 2009. She campaigns for local produce, is a member of Slow Food Ireland and set up Ireland's first farmers' market. She has won many awards including the Guild of Food Writers' Lifetime Achievement award in 2013. www.cookingisfun.ie

Dr Ross Bayton

Dr Ross Bayton gained a Bachelor's degree in tropical ecology, and later a Masters and a PhD, both in taxonomy. He is the co-author of RHS Genealogy for Gardeners and RHS Gardening School (both Mitchell Beazley), and worked for three years at BBC Gardeners' World Magazine.

James Wong

James Wong is a Kew-trained botanist, science writer and broadcaster based in London. Graduating with a Master of Science degree in Ethnobotany in 2006, he pursued his key research interests of under-utilized crop species and traditional food systems through field work in rural Ecuador, Java and southern China.He is the author of the best-selling books Grow Your Own Drugs, Homegrown Revolution and, for Mitchell Beazley, RHS Grow for Flavour (more than 64,000 copies sold) and How to Eat Better (more than 85,000 copies sold). He has presented BBC2's award-winning series Grow Your Own Drugs and co-presented, with Dr Michael Mosley, The Secrets of Your Food - a major BBC series on the science of food. He has a column in the Observer magazine.With his obsession for food almost eclipsing his love of plants, James's small London garden serves as a testing station for all manner of crops from around the world.

Jamie Butterworth

Jamie Butterworth is an RHS Ambassador who has had a passion for gardening since the age of nine, when he converted his grandparents back garden in Wakefield into his own allotment. He was a finalist in BBC 3's Young Gardener of the Year in 2011 and went on to study for two years at RHS Wisley Gardens. Leaving with a distinction in 2015, Jamie become Show Plant Manager for leading plant nursery Hortus Loci, where he was responsible for growing plants for all major RHS shows, including the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Jamie's work as an ambassador for the RHS sees him travel across the UK, visiting schools and colleges where he shows young people what a fun, exciting and rewarding career horticulture really is, and how horticulture really can save the world. Jamie is also BBC Radio London's gardening expert, joining Robert Elms live in the studio on Saturday mornings, along with being a regular gardening guest for both Talk Radio and BBC Berkshire.

Joy Larkcom

Hailed as 'the doyenne of the kitchen garden' by Sarah Raven, Joy Larkcom has been growing and writing about vegetables for more than forty years. Her work has been influenced by travels in Europe, China, Japan, the USA and Canada as she's sought out new edible plants and cultivation techniques. Over recent years she has concentrated on the 'potager' concept, making the kitchen plot a beautiful feature in itself. She created several small potagers in Suffolk before moving to Southern Ireland, where a fan-shaped potager has been made on a windswept slope.Joy is a well-known author, journalist and lecturer. Her other books include Oriental Vegetables, Salads for Small Gardens, The Organic Salad Garden, Grow Your Own Vegetables and her recently published memoir, Just Vegetating. Joy has won the Garden Writer of the Year award three times and was awarded the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal for services to horticulture. In 2003 she was presented with the Garden Writers' Guild Lifetime Achievement award.

Judith Miller

Judith Miller began collecting in the 1960s while a student at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She has since extended and reinforced her knowledge of antiques through international research, becoming one of the world's leading experts in the field. In 1979 she co-founded the international best-seller Miller's Antiques Price Guide and has since written more than 100 books which are held in high regard by collectors and dealers.Judith Miller appears regularly on TV and radio. She is an expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow and has co-hosted the popular BBC series The House Detectives, ITV's Antiques Trail, and Discovery's It's Your Bid. She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and CNN. She is a regular lecturer and contributor to numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, BBC Homes & Antiques and House & Garden. She has lectured extensively, including at the V&A in London and the Smithsonian in Washington.

Kay Maguire

Kay Maguire is the author of the award-winning RHS How to Grow Your Own Crops in Pots, which was published by Mitchell Beazley in 2013. She is a regular contributor to gardening magazines such as BBC Gardeners' World, The Garden and Amateur Gardening, as well as being the video producer for the RHS website. Kay trained at The Royal Botanic Garden Kew, where she gained the Kew Diploma, and was the Horticultural Editor of BBC Gardeners' World for six years. She is now a freelance writer, editor, producer and most importantly, grower.

Matt James

Matt James is a garden designer, broadcaster and senior lecturer teaching on horticulture degree programmes at the Eden Project, Cornwall, where he also manages a respected HND in Garden & Landscape Design. Channel 4's The City Gardener introduced Matt to the gardening public; the series was later broadcast around the globe. Two series about urban garden design in the US soon followed. Matt continues to make regular appearances on television and radio, including BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time. Matt's previous four books include RHS The Urban Gardener (Mitchell Beazley), and he has also written widely for many publications in garden design and gardening. Matt has won awards for his design work and continues to run a design practice based in Cornwall, working in the UK and abroad.

Member 001

Member 001 and 002 are the founding members of Sock Club London, a members-only club established to elevate and champion men's hosiery and all associated style items. A collective of like-minded individuals, Sock Club London curates events and collaborates to produce special, limited edition products with the finest brands and manufacturers in the sock business.

Member 002

Member 001 and 002 are the founding members of Sock Club London, a members-only club established to elevate and champion men's hosiery and all associated style items. A collective of like-minded individuals, Sock Club London curates events and collaborates to produce special, limited edition products with the finest brands and manufacturers in the sock business.

Richard Sneesby

Richard Sneesby is a landscape architect and garden designer. He is an RHS judge at Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows and co-authored The Garden Maker's Manual (also Mitchell Beazley).

Robin Hutson

The Pig opened in 2011 in the New Forest and became an instant hit. A more relaxed take on the country house hotel, The Pig's unique selling point was its kitchen garden which was - and has remained - at the heart of the hotel, and the menu.Founded by Robin Hutson (who created Hotel du Vin and launched Lime Wood), his wife Judy Hutson (who is responsible for the interiors) and David Elton, The Pig's litter has grown to five, with more to follow soon. The hotels have won a fervently loyal following and a string of industry accolades.

Simon Akeroyd

Simon Akeroyd is a garden writer with a passion for both kitchen gardening and cooking. He contributes to numerous magazines including Grow Your Own (as the Allotment Gardener) and was also a garden and food writer for the BBC. His books include Shrubs and Small Trees, Lawns and Ground Cover, the RHS Allotment Handbook and Planner, A Small Course in Veg and Fruit, RHS Vegetables for the Gourmet Gardener and Raised-Bed Gardening. He was previously a Garden Manager for the Royal Horticultural Society, and worked at both RHS Wisley and Harlow Carr.

Simon Maughan

Simon Maughan studied Plant Science at the University of Edinburgh, and has spent 25 years furthering his knowledge and developing a love of practical gardening and plants. He was employed in 1995 to work on the RHS A-Z of Garden Plants and has worked on many dozens of gardening books, covering all aspects of the subject from species rhododendrons to garden design. He has worked as an editor and publisher for the RHS for over 12 years.

Tony Bishop-Weston

Tony Weston's vegan guestshouse in Scotland won the Vegetarian Hotel of the Year Award in 1995. He is also the author of the groundbreaking vegan cookbook Rainbows & Wellies. Tony has worked for the british Vegetarian Society and now works for the Vegan Society. Tony now lives in East Sussex.

Yvonne Bishop-Weston

Yvonne Bishop's interest in vegetarian nutrition led to key roles at Holland & Barrett health food chain, Crank's wholefood restaurant and The Food Doctor. Yvonne lives in London.