9 Garden Books to Give This Holiday Season
© Chronicle Books
From flower porn, to guerrilla gardening, kids activities, and growing your own food, a garden book is the perfect gift for more than just gardeners.
These beautiful, inspirational, educational, and thought-provoking books would be a great solo gift, or paired with an item from our carefully curated Green Gift Guide for the Outdoors Enthusiast, and 11 Holiday Gifts for Gardeners.
I have secretly rolled my eyes when people use the term “flower porn” over the years. But there really is no other term that aptly describes Andrew Zuckerman’s Flower.
The American filmmaker and photographer has captured some garden favorites and exotic flowers in the bold, beautiful detail that is his signature style. Keep the smelling salts handy.
Seeing the reproductive parts of 150 species splayed before you may make you a bit hot under the collar. Pair Flower with a GoPro Hero3 camera to get some nature pictures and video from your outdoors enthusiast.
© Random House Have rumors of Mother Nature’s death been greatly exaggerated? In Nature Wars, Jim Sterba makes a thought-provoking, often humorous, case for nature’s comeback and what happens when nature decides to ignore the borders we have set around our homes and cities.
Pair Nature Wars with a hori-hori knife because nature is making a comeback and she’s got her eyes on your quaint wildlife garden.
3. Guide to Seed Saving
© Storey Publishing, LLCYes, the seed industry has been consolidated. Yes, we have lost a lot of biodiversity and many heirlooms have gone extinct. But I am tired of the petitions, the tweets, and Facebook memes. None of that will stop Monsanto. If a fraction these armchair activists would grow a garden, learning to sow and save seeds: the threats against seed sovereignty could be neutralized.
It is not hard, and authors Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough have made seed saving easy with this guide to saving and preserving 322 vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits, trees, and even shrubs. Pair The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds with a membership to an heirloom seed library and share those seeds while there is still time.
4. On Guerrilla Gardening
© Bloomsbury USAThe modern guerrilla gardening movement owes a lot to the work and publicity of Richard Reynolds. If one person can be described as the godfather of guerrilla gardening movement it is Reynolds. On Guerrilla Gardening is a manifesto and a manual on the international trend of subversive gardening.
The book also documents communities across the globe who have taken up the fight against empty, trash-strewn lots, and pays homage to pioneers of this illicit gardening movement. Pair On Guerrilla Gardening with the Greenaid sling shot and seed bombs to cultivate a guerrilla gardener.
5. Grow Great Grub
© Clarkson PotterIs organic gardening accessible to those with small spaces? Yes, you can grow some of what you eat, even in the smallest of spaces. Grow Great Grub by gardening comrade Gayla Trail can show you how.
This book has neat DIY projects, recipes, and guides that demystify edible gardening for the newbie and experienced gardener alike. Pair Grow Great Grub with the perfect for apartment dwellers Patch self-watering planter.
6. Radical Gardening
© Frances Lincoln You would be forgiven if you think that gardening was the hobby of the genteel and the passive. Gardening’s political roots have never really been explored in the world of garden writing. George McKay’s eye-opening book unearths the history of politics in the garden.
From landscape architecture’s role as propaganda, to the role that green and public spaces have played in leading political movements, and how the marginalized have found homes among the flowers and veggies–this is the history of gardening that many don’t speak of. Radical Gardening changed everything I thought I knew and understood about the role of gardening in society.
Radical Gardening will fire you up, and you’ll be marching out the door ready to occupy your garden. Pair this book with an organic bug balm to keep the bugs away.
7. Edible Landscaping
© Sierra Club BooksWe have documented a number of home vegetable gardens that have come under attack from local governments in the pasts two years. In many of these cases, the issue boiled down to aesthetics. Someone didn’t like the looks of a garden and complained. While there is nothing wrong with a traditional-looking veggie garden, there are ways of incorporating edible plants into landscapes to can avoid detection from annoying neighbors.
For help and guidance in creating a garden that integrates edible and ornamental plants there is no better book than Rosalind Creasy’s Edible Landscaping. Pair Edible Landscaping with with a fashionable pair of garden boots from Bogs.
© EccoA.A Milne wrote in Winnie the Pooh; “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” And he was right. Richard Mabey’s Weeds is a fascinating account of the history and importance of the most detested plants of the garden. Mabey just may turn the staunchest weeder into a weed-lover. Pair Weeds with a pair of vegan garden gloves from Ethel.
9. Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars
© Workman Publishing Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars is filled with activities, crafts and ideas for anyone interested in getting kids back in touch with the living classroom and playground that is the outdoors. You don’t need to be a grandmother–or even a parent–to draw inspiration from this book. It is great for uncles, aunts, teachers, and community garden leaders, too, who want to pull kids away from the TV, iPads–and all the other shiny things–contributing from their disconnect from nature. Pair Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars with an awesome bug house.
Have a favorite garden book that didn’t make this list? Feel free to leave it in the comments.