The Best Gardening Books

by Elaine Gaertner
Last Updated: 18/08/2020
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Gardening can be an exciting practice if you understand the loops. For beginners though, with no prior knowledge, a gardening book can come in handy. You can find lots of information on specific gardening practices and learn your way through to a pro.

Below are some of the best gardening books that you can buy to learn and enhance your gardening skills.

The Top 10 Gardening Books

1.     The Complete Gardener by Monty Don

The Complete Gardener by Monty Don


Monty Don gives practical advice that you can use to learn gardening. He wrote the guide with passion and mirrors his experiences as a pro gardener. The book has useful information for the beginner that is looking for an easy-to-understand manual.

As an experienced gardener, Monty’s advice couples up with extraordinarily beautiful photographs of his garden. He takes you on a tour of his flower garden, herb gardens, and kitchen garden.

It is one of the best gardening books thanks to the actionable advice it has. With simple language and illustrations, it suits beginners.

2.     The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edwin C Smith

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edwin C Smith


Growing vegetables may seem easy, but, it takes a lot of effort to ensure the plants acquire optimal growth. Beginners often find challenges with spacing, as well as the kind of nutrients the soil needs to yield quality results. These are some of the essentials that determine the growth and productivity of plants.

This garden guide by Edwin C. Smith is one of the best and helps beginners understand the art of growing vegetables. It teaches you how to use wide rows, space, and grow vegetables in raised beds. Additionally, it highlights organic methods that you can adapt to produce high-quality vegetables.

The book is ideal for a vegetable gardener looking to try a new variety of crops. It guides you through the process of dealing with fussy plants to maximize growth and yields. More to this, it outlines profiles of hundreds of popular varieties that can be helpful in vegetable gardening. 

As a seasoned gardener in Vermont, Edwin strives to teach beginners as well as pro gardeners. With this book, you can improve on the skill and learn new ways of maximizing results in vegetable yields.

3.     Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture

Gaia’s Garden


Following a first edition, this gardening book is one of the highly-rated books on the market. It delivers a specific message in gardening, which emphasizes on working with nature and not against it. This approach results in beautiful, abundant, and self-sustaining gardens.

The book aims to broaden the reach and depth of permaculture perceptions for both urban and suburban gardeners. It demystifies the myth that you can only grow a wide range of edible and useful plants only on a large scale.

On this note, it encourages growers to create a backyard ecosystem. This is by pulling together communities of plants that can work cooperatively. The plants can then build and maintain soil fertility without compromising the structure.

More to this, you can provide a safe habitat for birds, insects, and other animals in your backyard. You can grow an edible forest with seasonal fruits, nuts, and other groups of food. With the advice from this book, you can contribute to conserving water in the landscape.

One of the chapters in this book covers urban permaculture for people living in cities and with limited growing space. It helps you visualize the space you have differently to maximize its use with the said principles. It is the best book for all-round gardeners intending to learn new and modern ways of growing plants.

4.     Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners by Tammy Wylie

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners by Tammy Wylie


Starting a garden can be challenging. If you are new to gardening, this guide can come in handy to help you understand the basic principles. It mainly focuses on growing plants on raised beds and maximizing yields.

It is a suitable choice for gardeners that are worried about space but interested in better yields. With the simple guide, this book helps you to create raised beds, grow plants, and improve the yields.

Are you worried about the right plants to pick? This manual guides you through the varieties of plants suitable for specific areas and those that do well in raised beds. The outline has three sections to help you understand the process better.

The raised-bed gardening 101 – It shows you how to construct a planting box and mixing the soil.

From Greenhouse to Green Thumb – It has actionable steps to help your garden thrive all through crop rotation, seed starting, and planting. 

Perfect Picks – This section features full profiles of plants as well as growing and harvesting tips.

Although this guide is a little too basic for experienced gardeners, it has useful tips for beginners without any knowledge of raised-bed gardening.

5.     Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening Guide

Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening Guide


If you are inspired to start growing organic plants in your garden, this is undoubtedly the guide to use. It targets beginners that are looking for useful information on gardening. The book explains the path to reaching goals as far as growing plants is concerned.

Deborah, an experienced gardener, addresses questions that most beginners have when starting their gardening journey. She tackles queries such as ‘where do I dig’ to ‘how much should I water’ which brings you up to speed with the basics.

The guide outlines information in growing season order, from planning the garden to planting and harvesting. More to this, it features common topics in gardening, such as pest control, compost, weeds, seeds, and soil structure. It explains these topics in simple language and a style that is easy to understand for beginners.

The information in the book gives you options on the type of gardening you would like to take. From flower and vegetable growing to no-dig methods, it has valuable advice for all gardeners. The best thing is that it has a section that defines more than 100 garden terms to help you understand even better.

6.     The New Sunset Western Garden Book

The New Sunset Western Garden Book


If you are searching for the best gardening books with modern evolved gardening tips, this is a suitable option. The book is an updated edition of The Western Garden Book to cover emerging practices in gardening. It is, therefore, ideal for both experts and beginners.

You will love the outline of the guide and the applicable tips it has. The book has a photo gallery that shows the West’s most innovative gardens as inspiration. It also has Climate-Zone Maps that describe the growing graphs for all regions of the West.

The Plant Finder section helps you choose the right plants for the garden’s problem areas. With the list of plants that thrive in the west, this book is a fantastic resource for learning the different varieties.

The visual guide is the most appealing part with illustrations that are easy to follow. Additionally, it takes you through the process of soil prepping, planting growing, and care.

It is one of the highest-rated editions on the market. However, the plant index only gives scientific names that can be hard to understand for beginners.

7.     All New Square Foot Gardening Book

All New Square Foot Gardening Book


Square Foot Gardening was introduced in 1981 and has ever since helped many growers enjoy gardening in small, limiting spaces. Over time, the outline has improved to meet today’s needs and solve modern growers’ challenges.

This book features over 150 new photos and illustrations, an update from previous editions to provide value. It shows you how to build a box, mix the soil, and add a grid. It goes deeper to show you how to add trellises and archways as well as how to substitute with new materials.

It is undoubtedly the best gardening book with the advanced methods it explains. With this guide, you can learn how to use automatic watering systems in small spaces. It goes further to guide you on crop protection as well as involving kids in the entire process.

The manual has valuable information for beginners in gardening; however, the font might be a little too small for everyone to read.

8.     The Kitchen Garden Guide to Growing Fruits and Vegetables

The Kitchen Garden Guide to Growing Fruits and Vegetables


Growing fresh, local, and wholesome food is becoming popular with today’s generation. The need to find valuable information on kitchen gardens has grown tremendously. Luckily, there are hundreds of resources, based on the experience of others, aiming to teach people how to grow and maintain plants in the space they have.

One highly-valuable resource is this book by Alan Buckingham. It guides you through the process of preparing your kitchen garden to plant vegetables and fruits. It also shows you ways to get the most out of your garden while saving valuable time and money.

This book can help you learn gardening as a hobby as well as making it a sustainable practice for creating wholesome and fresh food. As a seasoned gardener, Alan understands the challenges beginners have when trying to start a fruitful backyard garden.

For this reason, he uses the simplest language and terms to help you understand the entire process. It is resourceful; however, it is essential to note that the book uses UK terms such as cilantro for coriander. But, it should not be a problem since the book addresses the suitability of plants in most US zones.

9.     Encyclopedia of Landscape Design

Encyclopedia of Landscape Design


Designing and planting your lawn is quite challenging, not forgetting all the planning you have to do prior. The good thing is that this book can guide you through the process and help you make the right choices for your garden. 

Whether you are thinking of designing a Mediterranean garden or a sun-kissed retreat, this manual is a great choice. It is one of the best garden books for people looking to transform their outdoor space and include elements that are pleasing to them.

First, the gardener book teaches you the fundamentals of landscape and garden design. It then helps you find a style that suits you and the available space. With this information, you can then create the structure, plant the garden, and bring your ideas to life.

With this guide, you can easily upgrade your driveway, patio, and backyard and transform them into simple yet intriguing spaces. The photos in the book help to build your imagination for your space and give you ideas of what works best.

You can learn a lot from the guide; however, not every illustration is applicable to every space. Some design concepts are a bit complex but ultimately helps to grow the imagination. It is one of the best garden books for uplifting outdoor spaces.

10.   Private Gardens by Kurt Schaus

Private Gardens by Kurt Schaus


If you are thinking of upgrading your outdoor space, get your hands on this detailed book on private gardens. It features nearly forty well-established yards from around the world together with plans to explain design concepts and strategies.

It has information from designers sharing how they have created outdoor spaces aligning with modern architecture. On this note, you will learn how the designs work with audio-visual systems, modern LED lighting designs, innovative decks, and other outdoor designs.

The book not only talks about how these designs stand out but also covers the challenges in building them. It also highlights difficult site characteristics to help you understand what works best in specific spaces.

The best feature is how it integrates the designs to help you create a unique outdoor space based on your needs. With the information, you can choose the best plants for your zone and pick a design that contributes to the sustainability of the garden.


Whether you are looking to start gardening or improve the already existing skills, the above gardening books can come in handy. They are all unique and have valuable information to guide you through the process of gardening. Depending on your needs, you can find the best gardening book and enjoy gardening even more.

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