The Secret Allure of Garden Books Revealed

from Fluffy Flowers website  
January is Garden-Book-Time-of-Year.

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  

~Charles W. Eliot

I know physical books are going the way of the Dodo and that e-books are taking over...but there is nothing more luxurious than sitting with a good garden book and a cup of tea on a cold January morning.

Dreams of flowers, herb gardens, vegetable varieties, garden gates and more weave their way through your thoughts and light up those parts of your brain that have gone dormant.  'Plant Dreaming Deep', indeed! (a nod to a book by May Sarton)

from Plant At Home website

There are so many great garden books out there on so many aspects of horticulture, garden design, ecology, memoirs, etc. that I cannot possibly list them. So I thought I would regale you with photos of collections of garden books that others have shared on the internet. It is an obsession, you know: garden book collecting. It seems that you just need that one more book...I have boxes of garden books. And I cannot part with them, no matter how hard I try. 

source: photo garden bee photo by Bill Conley

So feel free to look at others' garden book piles and see if you have any of them. What a vast variety they are! I am amazed that garden books are not at the top of every publishers' list - but it seems that we are a small niche. How can that be? Gardening is still the most popular leisure time activity in the US - year after year. And we buy books!

source: perfect gardening tips website 

Of course garden books can take over your living space - as you can see below. Book shelves groan beneath the weight of 'Grow the Best Tomatoes' and 'The Outdoor Living Room'. But which ones to cull? I can never decide. I am always going to read that one next...and then that one...

source: Bellewood Gardens

Why are they so popular? and why do they have such a hold on us? Because garden books hold the promise of a better, greener, more fruitful tomorrow. You know, the idea is always sweeter than the the great philosopher Pooh says, 

“Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.”

That delicious moment is encapsulated in a garden book......

source: stay gardening website
So just keep stacking them up. And enjoy their colorful covers - if nothing else. They represent the lush promise of a garden and this, as we all know, warms the soul on a chill winter's day.

source: Janelle McCulloch Library of Design website 

source: Janelle McCulloch Library of Design website 

this is for all the librarians out there


  1. This is my absolute favorite time of the year to read about gardening! The library is my main entertainment for January -March. I'll have to look up a few you have listed above, thanks for the ideas.

    1. Shannon, just looking at the book covers is fun. By March I am getting antsy...:-)

  2. Jan - I LOVE this post! I've been wanting to write a post on my favorite garden books too. I really enjoy this format...showing them all stacked up. You are so much fun! We are all crazy about garden books.

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for that....and isn't it true about them staking up all around the house? eye candy obsession.

    2. I meant to write: 'stacking up all around the house'..(it was late).

  3. What a great post. Makes my fingers itch to turn the page of a hardcover book (there's nothing like 'em). Make it a gardening book and wine, although tea is great too :-) . . . and one could have a perfect evening without leaving their own home.

    I love your blog - just discovered it this morning via My Garden Diaries.

    1. Welcome Elizabeth! and I have to admit - wine works just as good...:-)

      A quiet evening with a glass of wine and a great garden book = perfection.

  4. I love the Pooh quote. I may have to use that in the garden book I am writing, if you don't mind me stealing your idea. In reference to the feeling of anticipation of new plants coming into bloom.

    1. Amy, steal away! It means more people realize what a philosopher Pooh was. :-)

  5. I love this post as I am passionate about gardening and about reading and then I read your ending words, and I am a librarian so this post is for me! The Pooh quote about honey is darling, isn't it.

    1. Terra! I love librarians. They are the gate-tenders and open it up for the rest of us! I am so happy you commented...Thanks.


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