find inspiration in the gardens from this week's top shelf

Featured, Chrizanda Botha. Supplied

When it comes to renovations, it's easy to put an outdoor area on the back burner, but your patio is an important space to consider and a great way to extend your living area. Architect Johann Slee is known for his magnificent designs that always include the outdoors in the construction via natural tones and earthy colour palettes. With textured walls that reflect abundant sunlight, his projects are simple but brilliant. Drawing on this as inspiration, the books we've chosen for this week's Top Shelf are all about amazing outdoor spaces around the world. The Gardener's Garden by Toby Musgrave (Phaidon Press, R661) is a collection of gorgeous gardens across continents and centuries, with some dating as far back as the 14th century. Gardenista by Michelle Slatalla (Artisan, R646) is packed with gardening advice, but also has the most beautiful visuals of 12 enviable outdoor areas, planting guides for a variety of climates and colour palettes, as well as studies on outdoor structures that range from yoga studios to chicken coops. Gardens to Inspire by Keith Kirsten (Random House Struik, R184) introduces 20 notable gardens in South Africa located on grand estates and private properties. Remarkable Gardens of South Africa by Nini Bairnsfather Cloete (Quivertree Publications, R598) is a spectacular coffee table book with 20 of the most magical private gardens in the country as well as interviews with the owners. Lastly, Secret Garden by Johanna Basford (Laurence King Publishing, R191) is an adult colouring-in book with gorgeous black-and-white illustrations by Johanna Basford.
The Gardener's Garden (Phaidon Press, R661), Exclusive Books.