I am an avid reader of gardening books (in the days when I had television I watched a lot of gardening shows too), but I don’t usually decide to buy them.
Ethne Clarke’s The Art of the Kitchen Garden
really pleased me though. It is well written and illustrated but it also combines several of my interests.
Basically it is a history of the kitchen garden from the early Middle Ages through the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She clearly did a lot of research and combines information about plants