Here are a couple of my favorite gardening books, for beginners (and the pros). I love books, I love flipping through them and sucking in all the photos and knowledge, i even just like looking at them cuddled up against each other on the shelf, but lets be real, how many books can you really refer to over and over again with the tender attention they deserve? Well, for this reason I got all of these recommended readers below out of my local libraries first just to see if I wanted to have it forever, and some, although I recommend reading thoroughly, were more of a journey rather than a resource so I did not end up buying. So dont get overwhelmed by the quantity below, just relax and get out your library card before taking out your credit card :)

Just letting you know that the Amazon links below are affiliate links because, why not!

Recommended Reads

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This was one of the first vege gardening books I picked up in the library, and I fell in love at first page. I am saving up my pennys for this one because it has sooo much useful info in and it even has space for record keeping – total buy choice.

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There are about a million books on herbs out there and I have checked out about 20 of them from my local library. Although there are more thorough ones, this book is nicely layed out, easy to digest and offers up not only info about planting and harvesting, but also medicinal and culinary uses for many herbs. Love it and want my own copy as it is a book I would want to reference regularly.

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Nice intro for those who know nothing about gardening – step-by-step instructions and explanations with very little fluff. The photos a nice and plentiful and really moves you into the world of gardening without the intimidation of perfection.

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I really enjoyed this book, I got it out of the library and read it over a couple of nights, when it was time to return it I felt sad because it is just a really nice little book full of easy and smart ideas, anecdotes and helpful tips. I ended up buying a used copy of this one off Amazon for $5 and am glad I have it around, its not the most in-depth or revolutionary but it is a nice read with a little bit of everything in it that helps me stay motivated.

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This was a fun and interesting read, the tone is jaunty and I found it really wet my appetite for planting edibles in the garden – great for a quick blast of inspiration.

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Light and fresh book about preserving your harvest – I have listened to a couple of interviews with Megan Cain (the author) and she just sounds so nurturing and positive, this book has the same vibe.

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How scary is pruning, it gives me the willys just thinking about it … what if I prune the be-jeebers out of my plant and it never forgives me! Well this little book is jam packed full of encouraging and brutal information that tells it to you straight – just prune it and move on. I got this one out of the library the minute we purchased our first dwarf nectarine tree because I have no idea about this stuff, after reading it from cover to cover I put it on my wishlist because this seems like a book you want to keep around.

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This one is pretty deep but very interesting if you are thinking about harvesting your own seeds or growing from cuttings etc. Although this is a great read out of the library, I am just starting out in the garden world so I am going to table this one for later on when I am really committed to ongoing gardening. I can see it will save a bunch of money in the long run being able to propagate your own plants rather than buying seeds and starters and it will be another really exciting thing to try.

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Really down to earth tone to this book, it is very welcoming and unintimidating to people just starting to learn about composting. It is a definitely worth a read out of the library to get familiar with all the different (and easy) ways to compost, even bringing the process INTO the garden so you can use it whilst it is working is just an awesome idea. Even within the first couple of pages I learnt a bunch about working safely with composted materials like wearing gloves and dust masks when dealing with decaying straw and manure compost to avoid ‘farmer’s lung’ and nail-biter’s nightmare’, wholey moley! I can see purchasing this one if you decide to go with one of the techniques as it is a great manual.

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Ok, so this one is just for my Cali peeps (sorry the rest of the county). This book is a great read from the library when you are just starting out – when you get the gardening bug you want to grow EVERYTHING that sounds delicious or beautiful, but you need someone to say ‘hey, space cadet, get back down to earth and see what WILL grow in your zone!’ in a nice and nurturing manner of course. This book is a great overview of what grows well in California (I am sure they have others out there for you east coasters too that are equally great). So check this one out of the ‘local’ and flip through the cornucopia of delightful things you can grow – enjoy!

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This was a good read for getting ideas about how to container garden, there is some DIY in there about creating self-watering containers and making your own potting soil and then lots of info about the plants that do well in containers, great for beginners.

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I had to read this book after hearing an interview with Niki Jabour, she is just such a positive person, it was such a delight listening to her and attitute is contagious. Check it out just because it is interesting and awesomely inventive.

Wanna reads! (these are ones I  wanna read … that was probably self-explanatory, sorry)

Smart Start Garden Planner – $29

This just looks so awesome!! I am hoping someone will get this for me for my b’day this year :) I subscribe to Megan Cain’s email newsletter and the release of this book/planner has me drooling. The photos look beautiful and idea is just great.  Leave a comment below if you have it and let me know what it is like!

 Smart Start Garden Planner

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I always thought what is the point of planting stuff I cant eat! But after listening to this interview with Erin Benzakein I am totally inspired to plant some more flowers in my garden. I am guessing this is a beautiful book with a wealth of information.\

Stayed tuned for the next installment in the gardening resource guide …. ‘Shopping’