Essential Gardening Books for Planters and Admirers

Gardening books are too often put to pasture in the reference section of personal libraries. Think again. At Remodelista and Gardenista, our editors’ collection of personal favorites not only offer practical advice, but also fall into the “curl up with a good book” category.

Do you have an all-time favorite gardening read? Please share in the comment section below, as well as on Gardenista.

Above: Janet is a fan of Ken Druse’s books: “They masterfully combine practical advice with inspiring ideas and photos.” His latest effort, Natural Companions offers another amazing photographic feast. Photographer Ellen Hoverkamp uses flatbed scans of artfully arranged plants to highlight plant combinations that Druse recommends for your garden; $26.40 at Amazon.

Above: Julie’s favorite is Noel Kingsbury’s Natural Garden Style: Gardening Inspired by Nature; $49.95 at Amazon.

Above: Kendra, our UK gardening expert, recommends Garden People: Valerie Finnis and the Golden Age of Gardening. “Garden people are a bigger draw for me than plant personalities. This book is about the well-liked and accomplished plantswoman Valerie Finnis, who was also handy with a Rolleiflex,” says Kendra. “The book’s appeal lies in the square portraits, with their glorious post ’50s color, from Nancy Lancaster weeding in a sombrero to Percy Thrower, Britain’s first TV gardener. The story of the post-war gardening scene in this country is told through the prism of Valerie Finnis and her own fascinating life.” It is available for 10.84 at Amazon UK.


Above: Here’s the reference book of our collection (and, undoubtedly, one of the most dog-eared books of the group). The A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants from the American Horticultural Society is a deep resource for the gardening bookshelf. It is available for $50.40 at Amazon.

For more literal gardening inspiration, see Visual Taxonomy: The Encyclopedia of Flowers.

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Les M.
Les M.2 years ago

these are great gift ideas. i already have a friend in mind.

Garnet Jenny Fulton
Past Member 2 years ago

Beautiful recommendations, thanks so much. Don't forget sometimes you can find some garden groups in your community to keep the reading material going :o)

Ro H.
Ro H.2 years ago


Isabel K.
Isabel Kramer2 years ago

Always looking for a good book. Tx

Laura M.
Past Member 2 years ago

Those look great! Thanks!

Kay M.
Kay M.2 years ago


Justin M.
Justin M.2 years ago


Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey2 years ago

Oh yeah! The All New Square Foot Gardening book.

Hands down the best companion for the real amatuer (like me). Lots of produce, minimal effort.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Tim C.
Tim C.2 years ago