As the garden has grown, so too has the gardening library. Here is a list of several books that I cannot live without. I turn to them for guidance, support, ideas, and comfort during the long months of winter. Each title is linked to a vendor.
Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Gardening: This is the book that gave birth to a gardening monster. It’s simple, basic, and filled with information on perennials, annuals, vegetables, vines, and gardening basics. My edition is a soft cover, and at this point, many of the pages are dog-eared and have separated from the binding.
Burpee Complete Gardener: This is my bible. Lots of information on seed starting and cultivation that is not only comprehensive, but is easy to understand. My greatest delight is thumbing through the pages and seeing dirt smudges from planting seasons gone by.
Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion (Shane Smith): I purchased this book when Joe brought up the idea of building a potting shed/greenhouse for me. This book provided loads of information and helped me to fine tune what would be important for me in creating a backyard greenhouse, as well as clear explanations of what is necessary for successful seed starting.
Gardens of Plenty (Marilyn Abbot): This book is strictly for reading and visual pleasure. The subject matter is potager gardens, and it’s a tour of the world’s most beautiful kitchen gardens. It’s very inspirational. As I always say, if I only had more room and time. Hmmmmm.
Making More Plants (Ken Druse): An absolutely gorgeous book, not only for its illustrative photos, but also the text. Everything you ever wanted to know about nature’s propagation, as well as what gardener’s can do to help nature along.
Burpee Seed Starter (Maureen Heffernan): Here is a very basic introduction to seed starting. Chapters focus on vegetables, herbs, annuals, biennials, and perennials.
Gardener’s Desk Reference (Janet Marinelli, editor): This 800+ page tome is an excellent reference book put out by The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. If the Burpee books listed above were my high school reference books, then this is college material.
Florida Gardener’s Guide (Tom MacGubbin & Georgia B. Tasker): A very basic book for gardening in Florida. All of the zones, including South Florida, are covered. Because of the warm (and subtropical climate), gardening in Florida presents a whole new set of challenges for the northern-trained gardener.
1000 Gardening Questions & Answers (The New York Times): The questions are from everyday people, and the answers are from experts. It’s all here: annuals, biennials, pests, troubleshooting, and more.
Venzano (Stephanie Donaldson): This book tells the story of two Australians who purchased property in Italy and turned it into a nursery. What makes this book about a scented garden in Tuscany so wonderful is not only the idea of two people making their dreams come true, but the photos. Here, you are given the chance to find ideas for your home garden and to take a mini-vacation at the same time.