ByGemma Alexander

Mar 28, 2023
garden book

Depending on where you live, you might already have dirt under your fingernails, or that average last frost date may still be weeks away. You may have a self-sufficient homestead or no more than a windowsill to plant in. But as the days get longer and weather warms up, spring gets everyone in a gardening mood. No matter what your gardening conditions are, this crop of new books will help you get you ready for your gardening season.

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The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans

by Patricia Klindienst

Gardens are about much more than plants. Interested in the connection between food and a sense of place, Klindienst bypasses the celebrity garden designers to feature the stories of urban, suburban, and rural gardens created by Native Americans, Hispanics, and immigrants from across Asia and Europe. Blending history and observation, she presents a model of sustainability that embraces not only ecology but culture.

The Flowerpot Forager

by Stuart Ovenden

Not everyone has easy access to wild areas where they can forage foods like wild garlic and pink clover. “The Flowerpot Forager” describes 30 wild edible plants that can be grown at home, with simple recipes on how to use them.

The Herb Gardening Handbook 

by Andrew Perry

Subtitled, “A Beginners’ Guide to Growing and Harvesting Herbs No Matter Your Space,” this book provides a simple growing guide for common herbs along with instructions for 12 herb-growing projects ranging utilizing spaces from windowsills to gardens. Readers will learn how to use herbs in cocktails, grow their own pizza toppings, and even make a positive environmental impact by providing forage for bees.

How to Grow the Flowers

by Marianne Mogendorff and Camila Romain

Cutting gardens don’t always get respect, but being sustainability-minded doesn’t mean you can only grow practical vegetables. Subtitled, “A sustainable approach to enjoying flowers through the seasons,” this book helps gardeners grow the crop that feeds the soul, using the principles of provenance, locality, and climate to produce healthy, chemical-free bouquets.

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Diversity in the Home Garden

by Rick Darke and Douglas Tallamy

Most of us want a sustainable garden, but few really want to give up backyard barbecues and games of catch on the lawn in favor of living inside a nature preserve. The Living Landscape is a garden design book that seeks to inform gardeners how to create a beautiful, sustainable space that still functions as a yard families can enjoy.

Native Plant Gardening for Beginners

by Haeley Giambalvo

Serious native plant gardeners need books that are specific to their regions. But beginners need to start with the basics. Giambalvo’s book will help you understand why native plants are so beneficial, how they can make gardening easier and more rewarding, and help you gradually convert your yard to natives, or just make natives a part of your existing plan.

Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes

by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West

Although it’s important to conserve nature as much as possible, truly untouched environments may not really exist. More importantly, people need to learn to appreciate the elements of nature that can be cultivated in disturbed, urban environments. This book, described as a post-wild manifesto, provides a practical guide to layer plants in communities to reflect natural systems while thriving in the built world.

Rebel Gardening

by Alessandro Vitale

If you’ve ever wanted to garden but felt like it was the domain of elderly ladies in the countryside, this is the book for you. Italian tattoo artist Alessandro Vitale made a name for himself as Spicy Moustache on YouTube, where he shares his sustainable urban gardening adventures in London. In “Rebel Gardening,” he provides a beginner’s guide to connecting with nature by growing organic food sustainably and with joy.

You Grow, Gurl! Plant Kween’s Lush Guide to Growing Your Garden

by Christopher Griffin

No matter how much you want to go outside, many apartment dwellers don’t even have a windowsill they’re allowed to stick a planter on. For those urbanites, this new book from Christopher Griffin, aka Plant Kween, provides houseplant guidance. Although the Insta-famous Black, non-binary author grows more than 200 plants in their Brooklyn apartment, the book is focused on providing the best care you can for each plant you parent – and for yourself.

Your Gardening Year 2023: A Monthly Shortcut to Help You Get the Most from Your Garden

by DK Books

With a chapter for each month of the year, this garden guide acts as a planner with monthly garden tasks, plant profiles, and planting and harvesting guidelines. If you tend to plant too soon or too late, forget when to prune or lose track of the big picture, this beginner-friendly book offers tips and tricks as they get into the rhythm of the gardening year.

By Gemma Alexander

Gemma Alexander has an M.S. in urban horticulture and a backyard filled with native plants. After working in a genetics laboratory and at a landfill, she now writes about the environment, the arts and family. See more of her writing here.