Garden Library Favourites: My List of Gardening Books

The best gardening books inspire amazing gardens. This list of gardening books includes excellent references, wonderful classics, and genuinely good gardening information.

List of Gardening Books | The Best Books for an Organic Gardener | from Home for the Harvest |

I LOVE gardening books. I can’t get enough. Reading them is addictive. I read them on the plane, on the bus, on the couch, in the sauna…(pretty much wherever I can get away with it). Here are some of my favourites :)


List of Gardening Books

These are wonderful 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/technical books can be found in the next section of this post.

Note: The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. That means I receive a small portion of Amazon’s profit if you buy something after clicking the link. Thank you for supporting my blog!

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

Toby Hemenway, Gaia’s Garden

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!

(see it on Amazon)

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

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

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 though, 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.

(see it on Amazon)

The All New Square Foot Gardening Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

Mel Bartholomew, All New Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space

Square Foot Gardening is a classic gardening book describing the square foot gardening method. It 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!

(see it on Amazon)

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

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

Gardenista is one of the coolest gardening websites out there. When they announced they’d be releasing a 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!

(see it on Amazon)

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

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

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.

(see it on Amazon)

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

Erica Strauss, The Hands-On Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving and Natural Homekeeping

The Hands-On Home is the go-to book for using what you grow in the kitchen, whether it’s to cook an amazing fresh meal, make delicious preserves, or create non-toxic home care products. Erica is a chef and blogger who is incredibly knowledgable about the best uses for the garden harvest.

If you want to ferment stuff, this book will be a great read. If you’re more into making natural soap, this’ll still be a good read. The Hands-On Home will have you buying less, cooking more, and appreciating your garden in all seasons of the year.

(see it on Amazon)

Landscaping with Fruit Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest | www.homefortheharvest.comLee Reich, Landscaping with Fruit: Strawberry ground covers, blueberry hedges, grape arbors, and 39 other luscious fruits to make your yard an edible paradise

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.

(see it on Amazon)

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

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

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.

(see it on Amazon)

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

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

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.

(see it on Amazon)

Canadian Gardener's Guide Book | List of Gardening Books - The Best Ones! | from Home for the Harvest |

Lorraine Johnson, Canadian Gardener’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Care for your Garden

The Canadian Gardener’s Guide is a great reference guide for Canadian Gardeners. It’s not exactly a “light read”, it’s more of something you’d refer to now and then when growing a new plant. It has excellent detail on dealing with the particulars of cold climate gardening.

(see it on Amazon)



Pink Garden Rose | Home for the Harvest Gardening Blog

In-Depth Gardening Books

While the books above are general gardening books, these books focus on specific aspects of gardening or small 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 list of gardening books so that I can reference them as I learn more about gardening and get deeper into certain topics.

Technical Gardening Books

  1. Masanobu Fukuoka: No-Till GardeningOne Straw Revolution
  2. Mark Shepard, Restoration Agriculture
  3. Jay L. McCaman, Weeds and Why They Grow (or When Weeds Talk – second edition) 
  4. Dave Jacke + Eric Tonesmeier, Edible Forest Gardens 
  5. Darren Doherty, Regrarians eHandbook 
  6. Elliott Coleman, The Winter Harvest 
  7. Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis, Teaming with Microbes
  8. Russell Smith, Tree Crops of a Permanent Agriculture (1929)
  9. PA Yeomans, Keyline Strategy (1950), Water for Every Farm (1973)
  10. Franklin Hiram King, Farmers of Forty Centuries, Or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan (1911)
  11. HMI, From Principle to Practice, Getting Results with Holistic Management
  12. D’Arcy Thompson, On Growth and Form
  13. Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language
  14. Max Jacobson, Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design
  15. Bill Zeedyk, Water Harvesting from Low-Standard Rural Roads
  16. Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, Creating Rain Gardens: Capturing the Rain for your Own Water-Efficient Garden
  17. Nigel Dunnett, Rain Gardens: Managing Water Sustainably in the Garden and Designed Landscape
  18. Art Ludwig, Create an Oasis with Greywater, Branched Drain Greywater System, Builder’s Greywater Guide
  19. Ethan Roland, Regenerative Enterprise
  20. Richard Walker, Food Forestry North of the 49th
  21. Cat Anderson, Tending the Wild
  22. Martin Crawford, Creating a Forest Garden
  23. Michael Phillips, The Holistic Orchard 

List of Gardening Books | The Best Books for an Organic Gardener | from Home for the Harvest |

Do you have a favourite gardening book? Do you prefer reference books, or books that are a good read? Let me know in the comments below! I might have to add some more books to my Amazon wish list….

Mary Jane

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

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