making frugal & simple beautiful

5 of my favorite gardening books (and a couple i’m dying to read)

5 of my favorite gardening books (and a couple i’m dying to read)

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The second best way to learn about gardening, aside from knowledgeable friends and family members, is by reading! Closely followed by personal trial and error… But you have to start somewhere!

Every year about mid January, I get the gardening bug again and I pull out all my favorite books from the shelves and check some out from the library and usually order myself one or two new ones.

I’ve compiled a list of the books that I find myself referring back to on a pretty regular basis, ones that have helped me cultivate my own gardening style and I even threw in a couple at the end that I haven’t read yet but I really, really want to!



Tasha Tudor’s Garden ~ This one is pure inspiration. If you are familiar with Tasha Tudor, then you can imagine my fascination with her. If you haven’t heard of her, hurry up and read her books! The watercolor artist and author was much documented in the nineties by books and media. At that time, she was in her eighties, living in New England in a 19th century style life she had created for herself. Her beautiful cottage gardens are enough to make any aspiring gardener drool.


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 Soil ~ My sweet husband bought this book on a whim for me one Christmas, and I’m so glad he did. It is a great basic gardening information tool that I have referred to many times. Favorite topics include nutrition and soil health, pests, mulching, and a section about each common plant, their preferences, and their habits.


Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century, Revised & Updated~ I love the idea of slowly moving away from convention and becoming a little more self sufficient. This book has everything you can think of in the topic. Not only growing a garden, but what to do with your harvest, traditional techniques of food preparation, energy and waste, water, foraging and on and on. So many gorgeous pictures in this one.


Welcome to the Farm: How-to Wisdom from The Elliott Homestead ~ I must admit I’m probably the most excited about this baby. I just got it last month. Shaye Elliot is one of my favorite online presences, and her book does not disappoint. Filled with her stunning photography and farm and garden know how, this book covers it all! Growing your own food, preserving it, chicken keeping, animal husbandry and butchering, bee keeping… It’s glorious.


Weedless Gardening ~ This little gem is full of wonderful wisdom about your soil. How to garden “from the top down” in a less disruptive way, nurturing your soil and it’s many inhabitants. He teaches adding layers of organic material to the top of the bed every year to act as mulch and to break down, enriching, protecting, retaining moisture and deterring weeds.



Now for a couple I want to read.

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms ~ I love this lady and her amazing flower gardening skills and business, so it’s no surprise that I have to get my hands on her new book. Erin Benzakein grows some of the most incredible flowers I have ever seen. Dahlias are her signature, along with narcissus, tulips, zinnias, ranunculus, and lots more. All the heart eyes.


Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees ~ I am very interested in cultivating fruit trees on our small property, and this looks like just what I need to read. The author claims that there are techniques to prune your trees to stay small but reap bountiful harvests.


Do you have a favorite gardening book? I want to know so I can read it too!