The Best Gardening Books: A Garden Lovers Reading List

The best gardening books inspire us to create amazing gardens. This list of gardening books includes excellent references, wonderful classics, and genuinely good gardening information. Here are some of my favourite garden books as well as some classic gardening books and specialty reads.

Best Gardening Books - Stack of garden books on table

List of the Overall Best Gardening Books

Let’s start with the wonderful overall general gardening books which cover multiple aspects of organic gardening. They are not necessarily books for beginners, but they do cover many different areas of gardening and uses for your garden harvest.

More specific niche garden books can be found in the big table next section of this post. You can also view my entire big list of gardening books on my Gardening Books Amazon Idea List.

Gaia's Garden Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

1. Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway

Gaia’s Garden is my favourite general gardening book. It focuses on organic gardening methods and how each aspect of the garden is connected. You won’t learn to grow specific vegetables in this book, but you’ll have a holistic understanding of how the garden functions.

Since it’s relatively easy to google how to grow individual plants, but it’s rather difficult to learn how a garden actually functions, I’d recommend this book before learning to grow specific plants. It is so important to learn how the garden functions, but also to learn about plants you may have never considered growing (hazelnuts anyone?). Gaia’s Garden is one of my absolute favourite non-fiction books, and this list of gardening books would not be complete without it!

Square foot gardening - one of the best gardening books ever

2. Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space, by Mel Bartholomew

Square Foot Gardening is a classic gardening book describing the square foot gardening method. It’s now on the third edition! This method challenges some of the traditional gardening “rules”, such as that veggies should be grown in straight lines. This book really is an exercise in optimization, yet is well-written and easy to follow.

I obviously have a soft spot for this one because it was written by a Civil Engineer, and I adore the research Mel did in the name of efficiency. Following the section describing his gardening method, there is a nice reference section for growing individual vegetables. This is a great book for a new gardener who hasn’t learnt bad habits yet!

The Zero-Mile Diet Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

3. The Zero-Mile Diet: A Year-Round Guide to Growing Organic Food, by Carolyn Herriot

The Zero-Mile Diet is another great general gardening book which focuses on how to grow individual vegetables, as well as how to do some general gardening tasks such as composting. I like this book because it is Canadian, and therefore attends to some of the intricacies of growing food in Canada.

This book focusses mainly on food, so don’t buy it if you’re more of a flower gardener. If you’re looking to start a kitchen garden however, and live in Canada or Northern USA, this is likely a great book for you.

Gardenista Book | List of Best Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

4. Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces, by Michelle Slatalla

Gardenista is one of the coolest gardening websites out there. When they announced they’d be releasing a Gardenista book, I was so happy I nearly lost it. I ordered the book on Amazon Prime the day it came out, and it was on my doorstep the next morning.

This is more of an inspirational garden design book than an instructional gardening book. “Gardenista” is great if you’re looking for ideas to plan your garden, design your landscape, or consider different options before buying a property. It also makes a pretty darn lovely coffee table book. If you’re into the aesthetic of a garden as much as the harvest, this is a good book for you. It’s definitely the most coffee-table worthy pick on this list of gardening books!

You Grow Girl Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

5. You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening, by Gayla Trail

You Grow Girl is a popular gardening website run by a fellow Canadian gardener, Gayla Trail. This book is the companion guide to the website. It’s the perfect book for a new urban gardener who wants to grow some of their own food.

The book takes you through the gardening process right from the beginning, including planning out your garden space, selecting the right plants, and the basics of growing edible plants. It’s also a lot of fun to read. This book would make an excellent gift for the new gardener in your life, no matter what kind of garden space they have.

Landscaping with Fruit Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

6. Landscaping with Fruit: Strawberry ground covers, blueberry hedges, grape arbors, and 39 other luscious fruits to make your yard an edible paradise, by Lee Reich

This is my favourite gardening book for fruit. Fruit plants are generally perennial, living for many years. This book help you choose great plants for your area, and then put them in a useful part of your yard.

After I read this book, I became confident planting fruit trees and shrubs because I knew they would not only produce delicious fruit, but would also look amazing in my yard. I also appreciate the reference section which includes growing details and care instructions for each featured fruit plant.

Gifts from the Garden Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

7. Gifts from the Garden: 100 Gorgeous Homegrown Presents, by Debora Robertson

Gifts from the Garden is one of the most beautiful garden craft books. The crafts are beautiful, the photography is beautiful…it’s just a joy to flip through. I like that the instructions are very clear, and often include several photos. There’s lots of detail and a ton of projects. If you’re into creating handcrafted gifts and prefer to use natural materials, this book is definitely worth a place on your bookshelf.

Garden Made Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

8. Garden Made: A Year of Seasonal Projects to Beautify Your Garden and Your Life, Stephanie Rose

Garden Made is a wonderful guide to making your home and garden a more beautiful place to be. Stephanie is a Canadian blogger known for her Pinterest-worthy garden crafts. The projects in this book are garden-focused rather than gift-focused, and include things like garden art and very cool garden DIY’s (like a bug hotel!). I like that the book is arranged by season. That makes it very easy to decide which projects to complete in a given season.

List of the Best Gardening Books

Specialty and Niche Gardening Books

While the books above are general gardening books, these books focus on specific aspects of gardening or small-scale agriculture, going into each topic in detail. These books are publications I’ve found when doing research or which have been recommended to me by experienced gardeners. They’d make a good gift for the master gardener or permaculturalist in your life. Some books definitely fit into the category of reference material, rather than something you would read cover-to-cover.

I keep this big list of gardening books so that I can reference them as I learn more about gardening and get deeper into certain topics.

Big List of The Best Gardening Books

Book TitleAuthor(s)Link to Book
101 Organic Gardening Hacks: Eco-friendly Solutions to Improve Any GardenShawna Coronado
40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead: A Hands-on, Step-by-Step Sustainable-Living Guide (Creative Homeowner) Includes Fences, Coops, Sheds, Wind & Solar Power, Rooftop & Vertical GardeningDavid Toht
A Modern HerbalAlys Fowler
A Tapestry Garden: The Art of Weaving Plants and PlaceErnie O’Byrne, Marietta O’Byrne
A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every SeasonMargaret Roach
A Year in FlowersShane Connolly
All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic FarmingRachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, Robin Tunnicliffe
Backyard Bounty – Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Year-round Gardening in the Pacific NorthwestLinda Gilkeson
Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could EatEllen Zachos
Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening: Techniques to Help You Get StartedKatie Elzer-Peters
Biodynamic Gardening: Grow Healthy Plants and Amazing Produce with the Help of the Moon and Nature’s CyclesHelen Fewster, Penny Warren
Coffee for Roses: …and 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard GardeningC.L. Fornari
Complete Planting Design Course: Plans and Styles for Every GardenHilary Thomas, Steven Wooster
Covering Ground: Unexpected Ideas for Landscaping with Colorful, Low-Maintenance Ground CoversBarbara W. Ellis
Crazy Plant LadyIsabel Serna
Dahlias: Beautiful Varieties for Home & GardenNaomi Slade
Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and ShrubsMichael A. Dirr
Discovering the Meaning of FlowersShane Connolly
Down to Earth: Gardening WisdomMonty Don
Enjoying Hummingbirds: In the Wild and In Your YardLarry Gates, Terrie Gates
Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All TimeCraig LeHoullier
Everyday Roses: How to Grow Knock Out® and Other Easy-Care Garden RosesPaul Zimmerman
Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where You LiveKevin Espiritu
Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms (Gardening Book for Beginners, Floral Design and Flower Arranging Book)Erin Benzakein, Julie Chai
Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and HappinessQing Li
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale PermacultureToby Hemenway
Garden Alchemy: 80 Recipes and Concoctions for Organic Fertilizers, Plant Elixirs, Potting Mixes, Pest Deterrents, and MoreStephanie Rose
Garden Anywhere: How to Grow Gorgeous Container Gardens, Herb Gardens, Kitchen Gardens, and More …Without Spending a FortuneAlys Fowler
Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your GardenNoel Kingsbury
Garden Made: A Year of Seasonal Projects to Beautify Your Garden and Your LifeStephanie Rose
Garden-Pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening TermsPamela Bennett, Maria Zampini
Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific NorthwestArthur Kruckeberg, Linda Chalker-Scott
Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor SpacesMichelle Slatalla
Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New GardensChristopher Woods
Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor SpacesJan Johnsen
Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of MossesRobin Wall Kimmerer
Gifts from the Garden: 100 Gorgeous Homegrown PresentsDebora Robertson
Green Gardener’s Guide: Simple, Significant Actions to Protect & Preserve Our PlanetJoe Lamp’l
Green: Simple Ideas for Small Outdoor SpacesUla Maria
Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your GardenNiki Jabbour
Grow Fruit Naturally: A Hands-On Guide to Luscious, Homegrown FruitLee Reich
Hanging Kokedama: Creating Potless Plants for the HomeCoraleigh Parker
Happy Cactus: Cacti, Succulents, and MoreBob Bridle, Laura Bithell
Homegrown and Handpicked: A Year in a Gardening LifeCarol J. Michel
How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally ChallengedVeronica Peerless
How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do (Science for Gardeners)Linda Chalker-Scott
How to Create Your Garden: Ideas and Advice for Transforming Your Outdoor SpaceAdam Frost
How to Houseplant: A Beginner’s Guide to Making and Keeping Plant FriendsHeather Rodino
How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and HeartSummer Rayne Oakes
How to Raise a Plant and Make It Love You Back: A modern gardening book for a new generation of indoor gardenersMorgan Doane, Erin Harding
Hummingbirds: A Life-size Guide to Every SpeciesMichael Fogden, Marianne Taylor, Sheri L. Williamson
Hydroponics: The Ultimate Guide to Grow your own Hydroponic Garden at HomeLara Darling
Indoor Kitchen Gardening: Turn Your Home Into a Year-round Vegetable Garden – Microgreens – Sprouts – Herbs – Mushrooms – Tomatoes, Peppers & MoreElizabeth Millard
Indoor Plant Decor: The Design Stylebook for HouseplantsKylee Baumle, Jenny Peterson
Kitchen Garden Revival: A modern guide to creating a stylish small-scale, low-maintenance edible gardenNicole Johnsey Burke
Kokedama: A step-by-step guideTakaaki Kagawa
Landscaping with Fruit: Strawberry ground covers, blueberry hedges, grape arbors, and 39 other luscious fruits to make your yard an edible paradise. (A Homeowners Guide)Lee Reich
Language of FlowersShane Connolly
Little Book of House Plants and Other GreeneryEmma Sibley
Martha’s Flowers, Deluxe Edition: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and EnjoyingMartha Stewart, Kevin Sharkey
Mason Bee Revolution: How the Hardest Working Bee Can Save the World – One Backyard at a TimeDave Hunter, Jill Lightner
Microgreen Garden: Indoor Grower’s Guide to Gourmet GreensMark Mathew Braunstein
Mineral Nutrition of Plants: Principles and PerspectivesEmanuel Epstein, Arnold J. Bloom
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 AcreBrett L. Markham
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 AcreBrett L. Markham
Mittleider Gardening BookJacob R. Mittleider, James B. Kennard
Moss Ball Bonsai: 100 Beautiful Kokedama That are Fun to CreateSatoshi Sunamori
Moss: From Forest to Garden: A Guide to the Hidden World of MossUlrica Nordström
My Tiny Indoor Garden: Houseplant Heroes and Terrific Terrariums in Small SpacesLia Leendertz
My Tiny Veg Plot: Grow Your Own in Surprisingly Small PlacesLia Leendertz
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the WorldPaul Stamets
New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant FamilyDarryl Cheng
New Small Garden: Contemporary principles, planting and practiceNoel Kingsbury, Maayke de Ridder
Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and FunNiki Jabbour
No-Waste Kitchen Gardening: Regrow Your Leftover Greens, Stalks, Seeds, and MoreKatie Elzer-Peters
Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the CityEric Toensmeier
Peonies: Beautiful Varieties for Home & GardenJane Eastoe
Perennial Vegetables: From Artichoke to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-grow EdiblesEric Toensmeier
Plant Tribe: Living Happily Ever After with PlantsIgor Josifovic, Judith De Graaff
Planting: A New PerspectivePiet Oudolf, Noel Kingsbury
Plants Are Terrible PeopleLuke Ruggenberg
Potted and Pruned: Living a Gardening LifeCarol J. Michel
Practical Botany for Gardeners: Over 3,000 Botanical Terms Explained and ExploredGeoff Hodge
Pruning and Training, Revised New Edition: What, When, and How to PruneChristopher Brickell, David Joyce
RHS: How to Grow Practically EverythingZia Allaway
Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Healthy GardenDeborah L. Martin
Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Complete Guide to Natural and Chemical-Free GardeningAnna Kruger, Maria Rodale, Pauline Pears
Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Green Resource for Every GardenerDeborah L. Martin, Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, Ellen Phillips
Royal Horticultural Society Small Garden Handbook: Making the Most of Your Outdoor SpaceAndrew Wilson
Sand and Soil: Creating Beautiful Gardens on Cape Cod and the IslandsC.L. Fornari
Seeded and Sodded: Thoughts from a Gardening LifeCarol J. Michel
Small Garden Style: A Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and ContainersIsa Hendry Eaton, Jennifer Blaise Kramer
Square Foot Gardening High-Value Veggies: Homegrown Produce Ranked by ValueMel Bartholomew
Square Foot Gardening with Kids: Learn Together – Gardening Basics – Science and MathMel Bartholomew
Square Foot Gardening, 3rd Edition, Fully Updated: MORE Projects – NEW Solutions – GROW Vegetables AnywhereMel Bartholomew
Table Flowers: Over 50 Arrangements for Simple, Special and Spectacular OccasionsShane Connolly
Terrariums – Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor GardensMaria Colletti
Terrariums & KokedamaAlyson Mowat
The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow StuffDee Nash
The Art of Edible Flowers: Recipes and ideas for floral salads, drinks, desserts and moreRebecca Sullivan
The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!Carleen Madigan
The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your FeetJenny Peterson
The Cocktail Hour Garden: Creating Evening Landscapes for Relaxation and EntertainingC.L. Fornari
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and moneyDeborah L. Martin & Barbara Pleasant
The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of GardeningMonty Don
The Complete Guide to Houseplants: The Easy Way to Choose and Grow Healthy, Happy HouseplantsValerie Bradley
The Cottage Garden: How to Plan and Plant a Garden That Grows Itself (Country Living)Charlie Ryrie
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create The World’s Great DrinksAmy Stewart
The Edible Garden: How to Have Your Garden and Eat It, TooAlys Fowler
The Elements of Organic GardeningHRH Charles, Prince of Wales, Stephanie Donaldson
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 50th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It YourselfCarla Emery
The Essential Garden Design Workbook: Completely Revised and ExpandedRosemary Alexander, Rachel Myers
The Ever Curious Gardener: Using a Little Natural Science for a Much Better GardenLee Reich
The Flower Gardener’s BibleLewis Hill, Nancy Hill
The Flower Recipe BookAlethea Harampolis, Jill Rizzo
The Flower Workshop: Lessons in Arranging Blooms, Branches, Fruits, and Foraged MaterialsAriella Chezar, Julie Michaels
The Gardener’s Year (Modern Library Gardening)Karel Capek
The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and MoreArin Murphy-Hiscock
The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife (How to Create a Sustainable and Ethical Garden that Promotes Native Wildlife, Plants, and Biodiversity)Nancy Lawson
The Informed GardenerLinda Chalker-Scott
The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine CottageDavid L. Culp
The Legacy: An Elder’s Vision for Our Sustainable FutureDavid Suzuki
The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home GardenRick Darke, Douglas W. Tallamy
The Magical World of Moss GardeningAnnie Martin
The New Seed-Starters Handbook (Rodale Organic Gardening)Nancy Bubel, Jean Nick
The Old Farmer’s Almanac Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook (Old Farmer’s Almanac (Paperback))Janice Stillman
The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural FarmingMasanobu Fukuoka
The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control: A Complete Problem-Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden and Yard Healthy Without ChemicalsBarbara W. Ellis, Fern Marshall Bradley, Helen Atthowe
The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way (Rodale Organic Gardening)Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, Deborah L. Martin
The Organic Lawn Care Manual: A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe LawnPaul Tukey
The Oudolf Gardens at Durslade Farm: Plants and PlantingRory Dusoir
The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town ResilienceToby Hemenway
The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and CountryPeter Bane
The Pruning BookLee Reich
The Rodale Book of Composting, Newly Revised and Updated: Simple Methods to Improve Your Soil, Recycle Waste, Grow Healthier Plants, and Create an Earth-Friendly GardenGrace Gershuny & Deborah L. Martin
The Royal Gardens at HighgroveGill Knappett, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales
The Secrets of Backyard Bird-Feeding Success: Hundreds of Surefire Tips for Attracting and Feeding Your Favorite BirdsDeborah L. Martin & Arlene Koch
The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the PlanetKristin Ohlson
The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World: A Comprehensive Reference to More than 2000 SpeciesFred Dortort
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep SoilEdward C. Smith
The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other ContainersEdward C. Smith
The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook: Make the Most of Your Growing SeasonJennifer Kujawski, Ron Kujawski
The Wellness Garden: Grow, Eat, and Walk Your Way to Better HealthShawna Coronado
The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the WoodsBrett McLeod
The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You LiveNiki Jabbour
Trowel and Error: Over 700 Organic Remedies, Shortcuts, and Tips for the GardenerSharon Lovejoy
Uncommon Fruits for Every GardenLee Reich
Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with PlantsIgor Josifovic, Judith de Graaff
Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: A Simple Guide to Growing Vegetables at HomeJill McSheehy
Vintage Roses: Beautiful Varieties for Home and GardenJane Eastoe
Weedless GardeningLee Reich
Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical AtrocitiesAmy Stewart

What are your favourite gardening books!?

The Best Gardening Books
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Best Garden Books - List of Top Choices
The Best Gardening Books

Mary Jane

Mary Jane is a home gardener who loves creating healthy, welcoming spaces (indoors and out!) - About Mary Jane (

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