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Five Garden Books that Have Inspired Me

Updated on June 4, 2013

I love to read and I love to grow things and of course I also love to read about growing things. My personal gardening library is continually expanding. I visit book sales and second hand book stores on a regular basis and it is a rare visit that does not turn up at least one garden-related book.

I use the term-garden-related, because not all my purchases are about the how-tos of gardening. I have enough books on hand already that tell me what to plant where and how. Add my years of experience and I am not really looking for another how-to book. My current interest in the how-to books is focused on soil and fungi.

What I am looking for are books that may contain the how-tos but are more focused on the plants themselves.

I have been sorting through my collection with an effort to put the books in some order and wanted to share five books that I found to be both informative and inspirational.

The first book was written in 1941 and its subject matter has cosniderable relevance to a project I am thinking about. Winter Flowers in Greenhouses and Sun-Heated Pit was written by Kathryn S. Taylor and Edith W. Gregg.

As I have lived in cold climates for at least twenty years and am a big fan of cut flowers and flowers in general, I bought this book in an used book store in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I read it then but just the other day had a talk with a colleague that made me pull it off the shelf for a second look. It is an illustrated instruction manual of how to build a pit greenhouse that is heated by the sun.

I feel I need to point out at this juncture, that none of these books are permaculture related, that is a subject for other hubs.

When it comes to how-to gardening books, my two most thumbed books are Ecological Gardening by Marjorie Harris and Jeff Cox’s Landscaping with Nature: Using Nature’s Designs to plan Your yard.

If you are looking to landscape your property or to start a garden and want to do so in harmony with nature, and in an ecologically sound manner, either of these two will get you started or well along the road.

The  Sunflower Forest by William Jordan III is not a gardening book. Its focus is on ecological restoration. Repairing the world we live in is one of the driving forces that underlie my interest in growing things. Jordan’s inspirational work explores the relationship between culture and nature and how we humans, can blossom when working to repair Nature.

The fifth book is Lee Reich’s Landscaping with Fruit, shows us how we can landscape our property and grow delicious fruit at the same time.

These books are worth reading and then re-reading.

bee & sunflower

A garden without at least one sunflower is just not right. Bob Ewing photo
A garden without at least one sunflower is just not right. Bob Ewing photo


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    I must but at least one book a week, often more. Happy Reading

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

    Thanks for the helpful tips.

    My husband and I can't resist 2nd hand book shops.

    We'll have to keep a look out for at least one of these. Take care

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

  • suziecat7 profile image

    suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

    I'm always on the lookout for new gardening ideas. Thanks for these suggestions.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you your reviews and they really sound great.