I’ve read a LOT of gardening books over the years. I’ve read books about vegetables. I’ve read books about flowers. I’ve read books about container gardening, square foot gardening and row gardening. I’ve read books about formal garden spaces, wild flower gardening, and herbal gardening.
There are so many great gardening books out there, but I could not live without my Top 10 Favorite Gardening Books below. These books have had a tremendous impact on the way I plan and grow my gardens, and they give so much necessary, simple, wonderful gardening advice on a wide range of gardening topics. I promise, you’ll need them all!
The king of all gardening books, Four Season Harvest was the very first gardening book I EVER read, and its impact is still with me today. I was truly mind-boggled that a farmer could produce fresh, real food for 12 months of the year … in MAINE!!! A truly fantastic, helpful, extremely well-written book on veggie gardening all year long.
A wonderful space-spacer, the square foot gardening philosophy shared by Mel Bartholomew is probably the best option for small scale intensive backyard vegetable gardens. Easily laid out and understood, Square Foot Gardening allows the backyard gardener with little space to grow very high yields of fresh veggies.
If you love the idea of theme gardens and beauty in the garden, this book is for you! With fourteen different garden theme layouts and over 100 recipes for the produce grown in those gardens, you’ll have tons of options for growing your very own veggie garden as well as how to cook delicious meals from your garden yields.
A delightful English gardener, Charles Dowding has been gardening for market in his backyard allotment space for over 20 years now. His permaculture philosophy of no dig gardening (not tilling the ground every year) has proven a substantial success for growing healthy backyard vegetables. I highly recommend following him on InstaGram too – he gives wonderful tips and advice!
One of the first few books I read on gardening, the idea that flowers and vegetables grow best together seemed odd to me. However, after reading Vegetables Love Flowers, and testing it out myself, I’ve seen it’s true! A wonderful book for companion planting philosophy and ideas.
My transformative experience in flower gardening, Cut Flower Garden is a flower gardener’s manual for every flower you could ever think to include in a bouquet. Organized by seasons, Erin gives recommendations on her favorite flower varieties, when to plant them, and how to grow them. A truly pivotal book for the flower gardening enthusiast.
Lisa Mason Ziegler is not only great with vegetables, but she’s a genius with flowers too! The second best flower gardening books I’ve ever read, Ziegler shares the best cool season flowers for market as well as sharing how to soil block for seed starting. A wonderful resource for growing early spring and winter flowers.
If you’ve ever thought about selling flowers at the farmers market, or just curious about how many azaleas to plant in that front flower bed, this book is the one for you! A legit textbook manual on every type and variety of cut flower used in gardening, this book will answer every question you might have about how many, how tall, how long or how close together to plant any flowering annual, perennial, bulb or woody plant. If you’re on the fence regarding cost, it’s 100% worth the investment.
Less a gardening manual and more a modern floral dictionary of flower meanings and messages, this sweet book about sending messages through flowers is highly educational and perfect for the gardener who loves to share their blooms with others. Learn to send messages like “I am sorry for your loss,” or “Have a bright and lovely day” through small flower bouquets, otherwise known as posies.
There are few books available for the contemporary gardener to learn how to create lush formal gardens. However, if you have an interest in creating your own backyard formal garden, you will absolutely adore The Gardens of English Heritage. These gardens have been deeded over to the English historical preservation society which has done extensive research on restoring England’s formal and historical gardens. Complete with illustrations and specimen names, these formal gardens will spark your imagination for creating your very own formal garden too.
Gardening books impart so much knowledge and know-how, regardless of whether you are a new gardener or someone who’s been gardening for a decade. New perspectives and new topics in gardening help us grow in our gardening prowess and allow us to try new methods for even greater success in our gardens. I encourage you to read as many of these books as you can!
All the best,
PS. Let me know which gardening books you get! I’d love to hear how you like them.