My Favorite Gardening Books, and Yours?

IMG_2311Yesterday one of my co-workers asked me what gardening book I would recommend for beginners and I had to stop and really think about it.  I love so many gardening books that it’s hard to choose, and I tend to rely on the internet these days as my first go to when I have a question. I started looking through my books today and thinking about all of the joy that they’ve given me as I’ve studied and learned.  There’s nothing as wonderful as a good book!

IMG_2313I can quickly identify my favorite gardening book as ” The Moosewood Kitchen Garden Book” by David Hirsch.  Mine is a first edition and as I think back I’m sure that I purchased it in 1992, before I had children. It includes all of  the basics for anyone who wants to grow edible flowers, herbs, veggies and fruit and it’s readily available on Amazon in original and revised formats. I have happy memories of rocking my babies and planning gardens with this book in hand.

IMG_2314Another of my favorites is the classic herb guide, “Herb Gardening in Five Seasons” by Adelma Simmons. Adelma’s unique and wonderful take on herbs and herb gardening throughout the year comes to life in this book. I tend to pull it out at the beginning of each season to help me think about what’s coming next.

IMG_2316I have certainly enjoyed all garden  joys and herbal magic in the years since 1994!

IMG_2317When I was talking with Andrew yesterday the first resource that came to mind was Rodale. Anything published by the Rodale Press seems to work for me and the guide just above is perfect for answering  basic gardening questions. I also use their website, on a daily basis.

IMG_2318While looking around for one of my current favorites, “The Garden Primer” by Barbara Damrosch, I realized that my nightstand is full of gardening books too. As you can see I love to read about adaptive gardening and container gardening and I always have a few Organic Gardening magazines in the queue and free books on my kindle.

IMG_2320Here’s my current favorite  “The Garden Primer” by Barbara Damrosch.   This is an original edition that I found at the used book store recently. It’s a great resource for the more experienced gardener who’s looking for details, but it’s also simple enough to work for someone who needs a basic understanding.  Like the Moosewood book, it’s easy to read and digest and has beautiful hand drawn illustrations. When I googled Barbara Damrosch I learned that she’s published several books, speaks extensively, writes for the Washington Post and owns an experimental farm in Maine.

So, there you go Andrew… my favorite garden books! Let’s put this out to the blogosphere: What book would you gardeners recommend for a new gardener?

Let us know in the comments section… just a quick note for my facebook friends, comment here rather than on facebook so everyone can see what you have to share!




  1. dayphoto says:

    I have always thought about getting the Moosewood book! Thanks for this post, you have given me ideas for my reading table.



    1. It’s a nice one! Hope all is well in Colorado!


  2. Jen says:

    My favorite gardening book as of right now has to be The Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide by Stephen Albert. It has great, well organized information on the most common edibles in kitchen gardens. I may have to check out Herb Gardening in Five Seasons though as I’m lacking a herb book. Thanks for the book suggestions!


    1. I’ll have to keep my eye out for that one Jen! I see that Herb Gardening in Five Seasons and other books by Adelma Simmons are available on Amazon, mostly used and as collectibles. I wondered if it was still in print?


  3. I couldn’t even to begin to tell anyone my favorite gardening books! I have about as many as you. One time my cousin and I were talking about books we were reading and I said I read a lot of gardening books and she gave me this weird look and said, “they have GARDENING books?” She was amazed when she saw my collection. Other good books to read are Farm City by Novella Carpenter and Amy Stewarts books


  4. nutsfortreasure says:

    I must add these to my FB Page for my Garden Club members and Followers THANKS We have a small Library of books that sit on my Deacons bench in my kitchen 🙂


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