In my good books... Kim Wilde

Date
Published in
Sunday Express (UK)

Kim Wilde made her name as a pop singer in the Eighties. These days she is an award-winning garden designer and writer. She lives with her husband Hal Fowler and their children, seven-year-old Harry and five-year-old Rose, in Hertfordshire.

ALONG CAME A DOG
Meindert De Jong, Unavailable in UK
A cocky, mean hen secures the undeserved devotion of a big, lonely dog in search of a home. I read this when I was 13 and remember being very moved by the characters. Not at all cute, just a very simple tale, told directly, that speaks to the heart.

COMPLETE HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN FAIRY TALES
Out of print
Andersen's stories were punctuated by intense pain and emotion. As a child I adored these "warts and all" stories. Children should not have these stories dumbed down for them - they are far more able to understand them than we adults.

THE CELESTINE PROPHECY
James Redfield Bantum, £8.99
I read this when in my early 30s. I was talking with someone while on tour in Australia and he said I should read it. The book is presented as fiction but talks about intuition and has a spiritual message of hope for a better future.

FRIDA: THE BIOGRAPHY OF FRIDA KAHLO
Hayden Herrera Bloomsbury (£6.99 on amazon. co. uk)
This wonderful book is passion-packed, magical and exciting, just like its subject. It is a haunting account of the artist in politics, radical art and, most movingly, her love life and physical suffering. I cried deep tears when I read the last chapter.

THE WELL-TEMPERED GARDEN
Christopher Lloyd Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated, £14.99
Britain's most highly respected plantsman wrote this more than 30 years ago and yet it reads as if it were written yesterday. I love his no-nonsense approach to gardening and his wicked sense of humour.

THIS OTHER EDEN
Andrea Wulf and Emma Gieben-Gamal Little, Brown, £20
This tells the story of seven English gardens and spans 300 years. It is a tale of plants, politics and passion and delightfully reveals that Edwin Lutyens's pet name for Gertrude Jekyll was Woozle.