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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!