Best Books and Websites for Gardening

Folks have been sprucing up their outdoor spaces for thousands of years, and gardening’s popularity even made the very first gardening manual, written in the early 1300s, an essential in the court of King Henry VIII. These days we have a vast array of information available to us, so there’s no need to learn Latin in order to understand how to best care for your garden. Here we’ll explore some of the best print and online resources to help you create a beautiful garden, even if you’re not living in a castle.

Back in 1991 Martha Stewart Gardening: Month by Month was published and it continues to be an excellent guide for gardeners of every skill level. The book is filled with photos of Martha Stewart lovingly tending to her very own garden, and includes her own musings of what works best for gardens each month of the year. While the information found in the book is easily found in different places now, and even in episodes of her show, Month by Month continues to be a backyard gardeners favorite.

To better understand how to design your garden, Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury wrote the popular Planting: A New Perspective. Deciding to take a different approach to planning, with the idea of planning for the future of the plant instead of just how it looks next to another plant, allows readers to rethink their gardening. The book has many easy to read charts and graphs, helping you understand how one species interacts with another, and is a quick way to figure out how to create a garden you can be proud of.

While there are plenty of gardening books available, you may be looking for websites to help you instead, and there is no shortage of gardeners looking to put their knowledge onto the web. Pam Penick has been writing on her blog, Digging, since 2006, from her home in Austin, Texas. While she writes about her own garden, she also has advice on how to create different elements of her garden, which is useful for readers in any climate. Pam is continually finding new ways to enhance the natural beauty of her garden, and consults with gardeners around the country to see what they’re doing as well.

The award-winning blog, Small Town Gardener, written by Marianne Willburn is a quirky romp through her own garden, and the gardens she visits. She tends not to get very personal in her writing, but instead opts to help gardeners of any skill level learn something new, each month of the year. She likes to remind you that your garden doesn’t have to be perfect, and beautiful, sustainable gardens aren’t out of reach. Marianne writes practical advice, in a casual fashion that makes it seem as though you’re speaking with a close friend. With tips and ideas on different types of gardens, and ways to connect with other gardeners, Small Town Gardener is a wonderful read, even if your only gardening space is your condo balcony.