My Favorite Gardening Books (Great for Beginners, Too!)

This list covers my top 10, especially for Zone 8 in the Pacific Northwest!
My Favorite Gardening Books (Great for Beginners, Too!)

When it comes to learning things, I am definitely a book person. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned a TON about gardening from social media (especially YouTube), but there’s nothing that compares to a solid book recommendation. I’ve accumulated a few helpful gardening books and have been re-reviewing them recently in preparation for our own vegetable garden and landscaping plans this summer. If case you’re a beginner or simply looking for more inspiration and ideas, here are my favorite go-to gardening books!

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond

Before digging into my go-to gardening books, keep in mind that we are located in Zone 8b for gardening and some of these selections are specific to our area in the Pacific Northwest. Unsure of your zone? Here’s the free USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Keep in mind that I am definitely not a gardening expert, too. I learned how to garden as a kid, but am now translating those skills into a much larger scale! I hope you find these recommendations helpful.

Books about Vegetable Gardens:

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway

I cannot recommend this book enough! I love that it provides a holistic approach to gardening with tons of inspiration to get started. I find it wildly fascinating how interconnected every aspect of permaculture is and can’t wait to put what I’ve learned from this book into practice here on our property.

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

Practical Permaculture: for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein

I’ve found this book enormously helpful in planning the placement of gardens around our home and property. To me, this is the ultimate guide to helping you actually plan and execute your landscaping and gardening plans — in a way that values creating a sustainable ecosystem.

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman

One of my longterm gardening goals is to overwinter some key produce that our household regularly needs and this book has proven to be the ultimate guide for that. This is probably the least “beginner friendly” book in this round up, but if you have an established garden want to try your hand at winter gardening, I could not recommend it enough!

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening by Steve Solomon

This book was especially helpful when we lived in Seattle because it is so specific to the area. Technically, we are still west of the North Cascades so I still refer to it. These days I find that I’m revisiting the year-round planting calendar for reference. It’s a super helpful gardening book for beginners!

The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest by Lorene Edwards Forkner

Similarly, I found this book especially helpful when I was just starting out and in a more maritime climate. Part of what makes this one of my favorite gardening books for beginners is that it’s broken up into what to do each month. It’s a great guide if you’re new to growing your own food.

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

The Zone Garden: A Surefire Guide to Gardening in Zones 8, 9, 10 by Charlotte Frieze

This is one of those books that I felt like NEEDED to be in my gardening book library. There’s info that is pretty universal, no matter your zone. But I love being able to find information in a book dedicated to our specific area instead of turning to a Google search.

This book is actually difficult to find because I think it is out of print and some of the options are really expensive, so be sure to shop around if you want this one!

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

Fruit Trees for Every Garden: An Organic Approach to Growing Apples, Pears, Peaches, Plums, Citrus, and More by Orin Martin and Manjula Martin

This is the newest addition to my gardening library because I am planning a small orchard on our property. I haven’t had much of a chance to dig into it, but wanted to include it in case you’re looking for resources about fruit trees!

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

The New Organic Grower, 3rd Edition: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener by Eliot Coleman

This book is definitely more advanced and geared toward large scale gardening and farming. That being said, I still found it extremely educational and recommend it in case you want to know more about what goes into the produce you see at farmers markets!

Books about Flower Gardening:

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms by Erin Benzakein and Julie Chai

Not only is this book visually stunning, but it’s proving to be exactly the inspiration I need for the cut flower garden of my dreams. I especially love the seasonal guides for caring for tubers, bulbs, and other flowers.

The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers by Lynn Byczynski

Even though I’m not planning to sell the flowers I grow, I find this book helpful for planning my cut flower garden including choosing which flowers to even grow!

My Top 10 Go-To Gardening Books for Beginners and Beyond, including books for cut flower gardening and starting a vegetable garden. Zone 8 gardening tips, Zone 8b garden

So those are my top 10 gardening books with a specific focus on Zone 8. I hope you found this post helpful! And definitely leave a comment with recommendations for addition books and resources I should check out!

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Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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