A Review Of The Best Gardening Books in 2020

A Review Of The Best Gardening Books in 2020

Learning about gardening can be tricky since most of the best advice is passed on by word of mouth. A simple Google search can send you down a rabbit hole where the sheer amount of information is like trying to drink from a firehose. What if you want lots of in-depth information on gardening but you want it organized for you, well obviously a book is your best bet. Here is our list of the best gardening books.

As a side note if you are brand new to gardening we suggest you check out our guide to the 7 basic steps to get you started.

1. Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden

Floret Farms Cut Flower GardenAuthor

No list of the best gardening books would be worth it’s salt without Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden. This book was written by Erin Benzakein, who is the founder of Floret Flower Farm. As you can probably guess from the name, her work is specific to floral designs.

About the book

The book is a guide to growing, harvesting, and arranging flowers year-round. Several flowers are seasonal, and Erin does a good job of outlining which ones will be the best options for the best seasons.

The book is full of beautiful pictures that showcase exquisite blooms round the year. It is also a great instruction manual, which gives you tips for growing these flowers in a variety of climates and spaces. Proper step-by-step instructions for different types of arrangements are also included in the book.

You can find a video of her work here.

Specifications

  • Main topic covered: Floral gardening
  • Book size: 308 pages
  • Pictures included: Yes
  • Author name: Erin Benzakein

Possible downsides

  • The book is only about floral gardening and arrangement. If you’re looking for a vegetable garden or something less specific, this might not be the right fit for your needs.
  • Pictures included in the book are less about information and more about the aesthetic. Photo captions do not include flower names.
  • Probably not useful for very experienced flower farmers. More useful for beginners.

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2. Raised Bed Gardening For Beginners

Raised Bed Gardening For BeginnersAuthor

Tammie Wylie is an experienced gardener, with almost 30 years of experience in gardening. She is also the founder of Advanced Greenhouses, a website where she and her husband share tips on gardening for beginners, and how to build and maintain greenhouses. Tammie herself has been selling and installing greenhouses since 1993. She’s an expert on greenhouses, polycarbonates, and greenhouse supplies.

About the book

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners is for people who do not have a lot of sprawling space for gardening. It outlines the perks of building raised bed gardens, and how you can save space and still have a great gardening experience in what is available to you.

The book is instructional and very helpful in nature and is a great fit for both beginners and experienced gardeners. You can learn how to build your bed from scratch, which plans to choose according to your needs and climates, and how to make them grow well and healthy.

If you’re interested in vegetable gardening that you can actually harvest and consume, this is a great guide to have. It also covers suggestions for crop rotation, seed starting, and partner planting for a complete profile.

Specifications

  • Main topic covered: Raised bed and vegetable gardening
  • Size: 142 pages
  • Pictures included: Yes
  • Author name: Tammie Wylie

Possible downsides

  • Since the book is for beginners, some information might come off as useless and obvious to very experienced gardeners.
  • No tips for non-vegetable gardening. If you’re looking for ornamental gardening, this might not be the best fit for you.
  • Most pictures are just credited stock photos and not real life pictures by the author herself.

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3. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition

Vegetable Gardeners BibleAuthor

You know that a book knows what it’s talking about when the author lives off it’s writing. Edward C. Smith, the author of this book, lives off the grid in Vermont with his wife. The house they live in has been built by them, and the land has been cleared by hand. They own more than 2000 square feet of gardens and containers and grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables.

About the book

This book has been one of the most popular gardening books according to many readers. Edward C. Smith focuses on high yield gardening methods, using wide rows, raised beds, organic methods, and deep soil. His ways are known to work with plants that are usually difficult to grow, and he encourages experimentation with new and unusual varieties.

Since this information comes from his own experience, it provides expert information and a comprehensive roadmap for gardeners. Beginners and experts both stand to gain from these tips, and Smith tries to get you to become self-sufficient and grow vegetables for complete consumption.

Specifications

  • Main topics covered: High yield vegetable gardening
  • Book size: 352 pages
  • Pictures included: Yes
  • Author name: Edward C. Smith

Possible downsides

  • Smith writes mostly about how to deal with problems arising from the cold. These solutions work well for normal weather but might not work for places with high temperatures.
  • Because Smith advocates completely organic methods, dealing with pests without using chemical methods might be a problem.

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4. The New Southern Living Garden Book

The New Southern Living Garden BookAuthor

Steve Bender is the Senior Garden Writer for Southern Living, under whose leadership this book was made possible. The book is a joint effort by a team of dedicated southern gardeners, who have lent their expertise to the making of this book. These gardeners and writers aim to make gardening accessible and inspirational to everyone who is interested in this field.

About the book

The New Southern Living Garden book has been a source of gardening for southern gardeners for almost 50 years. The last version of this book came out almost ten years ago, and the new update has seen a complete overhaul and redesign to keep up with the times.

With a large number of text and pictures designed to give a comprehensive outlook on various gardening topics, this book features more than 1700 colored photographs, along with more than 7000 plants.

Apart from dedicated pictures, the book also includes a monthly garden checklist, a question and answer section for everyday problems, and design solutions for gardens. On top of this, there is a brilliant mix of old wisdom combined with new trends by industry experts to give the best possible gardening experience.

Specifications

  • Main topics covered: Southern gardening
  • Book size: 768 pages
  • Pictures included: Yes
  • Author name: Steve Bender (Senior Garden Writer for Southern Living)

Possible downsides

  • Mainly directed towards southern gardeners, so people living in different weather conditions might not find it as helpful as it can be.
  • More about information about plants than about instructions about gardening and plant care

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5. The New Sunset Western Garden Book

The New Sunset Western Garden BookAuthor

This book is not published by a particular author, but by Sunset Magazine, an ongoing guide that teaches you about life in the west. It covers the hottest trends in western home design, food, entertainment, landscaping, and travel.

The magazine has a circulation of over a million copies and a readership of almost 5 million people. This fact about the magazine makes this book a special collection of all the information collected over several years by several people.

About the book

They say that when you garden in the West, you have to keep natural evolution in mind. There are constantly changing materials, lifestyles, and techniques that alter the way gardening works.

The collection of information that you get in these books not only includes a lot of instructions and illustrations but a lot of other stuff that is needed for the Western gardener. It comes with a photo gallery of the West’s most innovative gardens, which include walls and beds and several other space-saving methods.

The book also comes with climate zone maps and growing-season graphs for different areas, a plant finder section to choose plans, a list of more than 8000 plants that thrive in the west, and visual guides that instruct readers through all the steps of making a garden.

Specifications

  • Main topics covered: Western gardening
  • Book size: 768 pages
  • Pictures included: Yes
  • Written by: Sunset Magazine

Possible downsides

  • The book focuses more on the latest trends rather than on age-old techniques for gardening. For people who are just beginning their gardening journey and have no idea about how to approach it, it might not be the best fit.
  • The format of the book is a bit cumbersome, as the indexing and referencing might cause you to flip forward and backward if you’re reading it on a hard copy.

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6. Sunset Western Garden Book Of Easy-Care Plantings

Sunset Western Garden Easy Care PlantingsAuthor

This book is published by Sunset Magazine as well, similar to the previous book in this review.

With a circulation of more than a million copies and a readership of almost 5 million people, Sunset Magazine is one of the most coveted sources for tips on the western lifestyle.

About the book

It’s a myth that good gardening with beautiful aesthetics is exhausting and time-consuming, and this book aims to debunk that myth. It illustrates that intricate, fragrant, and well-designed gardens don’t need to use up in all your time and energy.

This category of plants is called smart plants, and they relatively need a lot less upkeep than fussy plants. The book is full of illustrations, tips, and advice for the casual gardener. These tips will not only tell you how to approach aesthetic gardening but also how to save your time and undertake the entire endeavor with ease.

Specifications

  • Main topics covered: Easy western gardening
  • Book size: 288 pages
  • Pictures included: Yes
  • Written by: Sunset Magazine

Possible downsides

  • Not a lot of information on drought-resistant plants, which are one of the easiest plants to maintain
  • Not a lot of examples on the placement of gardens
  • Some people might need more information or charts about smart plants and which ones to pair them up with

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Conclusion

Hopefully, this review of the best gardening books gave you an idea of which book you should pick to get started with your own gardening. If there are more gardening products you’re looking for, please feel free to check out our other reviews as well. Happy gardening!

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