For the winter months, I love reading books about gardening and here I have listed a few of my favorites that I’ve gone back to year after year.
Do you love to read?
I love books on nature, gardens, history, children’s books with stories that take you away from a world full of distractions, and I love a bit of romance with mystery with references to the past.
Books can take you to places of hope
They help you learn, make you think, keep you creative, and give you warmth. I could not live in a world without books. It is nice to sit with a good book and escape for a little while.
Reading gardening books in the winter months for inspiration
During these cold months, I tend to veer towards gardening books for winter reading. Stories, pictures, fiction, non-fiction, some fiction all about gardens and gardeners. Flowers, trees, vegetables, really anything you can grow in the dirt!
Favorite gardening books for winter reading
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This list is just a few of my personal favorite gardening books, plus two bonus books that I am starting this week. I have so many! There are so many! It is hard to choose favorites. These are the ones I have read and reread over and over again.
1. Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life
This book was a special birthday gift from a dear friend. We both have so much in common and dream of visiting Beatrix Potter’s home and garden at Hill Top Farm someday.
The book is delightful and enchanting! It is about Beatrix Potter’s life as a gardener, from her early childhood interest in plants through her development as an artist to her final years as an estate farmer and naturalist. There are many photos of her and every page has a nice balance of writing and illustrations and pictures.
2. The Edible Garden (and all of Alys Fowler’s books!)
ABOVE: Edible Garden by Alys Fowler
I discovered Alys Fowler in 2010 when she did her delightful BBC series “The Edible Garden”. You may get lucky and find a few of those lovely episodes on YouTube, but have to warn you that they are copyrighted and keep getting deleted.
Alys Fowler has a pure love of the garden that comes through in this book (and her others…I have them all!) Working on a small plot of land at her home in England, Alys inspires you to create your own little haven that is beautiful and delicious. She has a lovely way of integrating edible flowers with vegetables. It is a beautiful reference with lots of useful information on creating a sustainable organic garden.
3. Tasha Tudor’s Garden
I have been reading this gardening books every winter for 20 years!
My mom and I have shared our passion of Tasha Tudor for many years. The magic in her cottage gardens are something I hope and strive for on my own little plot of land. Besides being a lifelong gardener, she was a delightful illustrator and writer of children’s books. Mom and I collect these as well! You can still find many for sale on Amazon, and other bookstores.
An enchanting book that lets you catch a glimpse of this self-sufficient lady. As you leaf through the pages, you feel as though you are walking through her whimsical cottage gardens and visiting her rustic home. This is a beautifully written book, which tells of Tasha’s garden month-by-month with many delightful stories, and is filled with color photographs of not only her garden but the artist and her lifestyle. Tasha dressed and felt as though she was from the Victorian Era but actually lived between 1915-2008. A pure delight!
4. P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home
I have loved P. Allen Smith since his days on PBS and the Weather Channel. . You can still find Allen on his YouTube channel where he still inspires you to grow your own, buy local, and create something from your garden.
I enjoy this garden book for the history and charm of how P. Allen Smith’s design philosophy and inspiration for his own home and gardens came to be. His approach to garden design and the concept of “garden rooms” makes you want to go outside and begin separating your own garden into different rooms for a purpose. Whether a kitchen garden, an enclosure for entertaining, a garden of whimsy, an entry garden, or one to simply enjoy nature. He shows us how we could apply the same principles to our own space. Garden Home is not only delightfully written but it is a beautifully photographed garden book as well.
5. In the Garden Trilogy
I wanted to include a favorite fiction gardening book for reading this winter. These stories let you escape for a few hours, yet are a nice quick read that I have read and reread many times over the years.
The “In the Garden” trilogy circles around a beautiful old mansion that is haunted by a ghost, with a family-run garden center on the property. Each book is about a women and tells the story from their point of view. It also focused on plants and gardening and has little tips here and there throughout the story. Sometimes you can almost smell the flowers!
What gardening books I am reading now this winter:
From the opening paragraph, which introduces the author’s grandfather who “died of a clump of Iris stylosa,” it is evident that Merry Hall is no ordinary gardening book. And flowers, on all its pages, it has the excitement of a novel, telling as it does the story of the rescue of a deserted garden and its transformation, after many struggles, into a little paradise.
~From the jacket of the first edition 1951
They also tell the magical story of their “jewel garden”, a part of their Herefordshire plot that is planted with particularly colourful flowers, and draws on their years in the fashion business. The jewel garden is Monty and Sarah’s means of making peace with their messy past, and a bold expression of their shared passion for life.
~Excerpt from the back cover of The Jewel Garden
I could add to this list forever!
I have learned so much from books, and there are so many that I love and cherish.
Do you have any gardening books you are reading this winter?
Please share with me some of your favorite books too!
For more inspiration about gardening in the winter
- Planting from Seed – Part 1 Spring Garden Planning
- My Garden Shed Studio. It has been 13 years, see it now
- Planting Microgreens