The Gardener’s Reading List: Our Favorite Books and Magazines

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The fall season has wrapped up, the winter gardening lull has set in, and it’s time to enjoy the holidays. For us, that also means it’s time to tuck into a cozy chair and read some gardening literature while dreaming of the spring garden. Here are some recommendations for gardening books and magazines that will educate, entertain, and inspire you.


Gardening Books We’ve Been Enjoying Recently




NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible: New international Version by Shelley S. Cramm

One book that Becky has particularly enjoyed as of late is this bible for gardeners. There’s daily scripture that relates to gardening, so every day you can find some inspiration from the connection between gardening and faith. It’s written by a garden communicator, a friend of ours from Texas, and beautifully done.




Teaming with Microbes: Revised Edition by Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis

We’re interested in how we’re treating the earth—it does support us, after all! And so we’ve been reading books like this one that deal with the earth and what creates our soil. The authors get into the technical details that the PhDs talk about, which usually gets way over our heads, but they turn it into realistic terminology we can all understand. 


Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition by Jeff Lowenfels

This book is wonderful at helping gardeners understand all the little basic things they can do to give back to the earth, make it more productive, and regenerate soil. 

For those who maintain our yards and gardens, for example, you’ll learn about how when the leaves fall, you don’t need to bag and remove them. Rather, you can use a serrated blade on your mower (also known as a mulching blade) to chop the leaves up and feed them right back to the lawn. 

You can also learn about the simple practice of making a space in your closet for some red wiggler worms, feeding them your kitchen scraps, and achieving some wonderful compost out of it. You not only learn how to do it, but you also learn how it works and why.


The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration by Chris Smith

We grow 10 varieties of okra in our garden. Most people view it as a slimy vegetable, but if you cook it lightly and steam it, it’s wonderfully crunchy and can be very flavorful. This book opens you up to all the surprising, delicious things you can do with okra! We enjoyed it immensely.




The Foodscape Revolution by Brie Arthur

Another book we’ve been really intrigued by is this one on foodscaping. It’s a fun one. It gets people to look at things differently, open their minds, and spread their horizons a little bit. If you’d like a shorter introduction to the topic, see our blog on foodscaping in your bulb garden.


Our Favorite Gardening Periodicals




Fine Gardening has superb articles, well-researched, and a lot of eye-opening design ideas. They also have an interesting group of regional gardeners who recommend certain plants for their regions each month, which we find quite valuable.




The American Horticultural Society has an outstanding magazine called The American Gardener. It covers gardens of note and gardening techniques, and it has some authors who are excellent gardeners but also good writers.

Garden Gate is another magazine we love to pore over. It has basic terminology for more beginning gardeners and is an inspirational source of information for those novice green thumbs.




We also enjoy some specialty magazines on very specific gardening topics. Conifer Quarterly, the magazine of the American Conifer Society, helps us with our conifer collection, while the Daffodil Journal from the American Daffodil Society gives us a wealth of information on our dear daffodils.

Another gardening magazine we really enjoy is Acres U.S.A. It’s about earth-friendly gardening, predominantly food gardening and farming. It’s having a major impact on the organic farming industry, and the sales of organics are dramatically increasing, which is very positive!

A particularly fun one in our collection is Garden and Gun. It doesn’t actually have a lot of gardening in it, as it’s more of a southern publication about homestyle living, but it’s got some cute articles that are well-written. We enjoy that one a lot.




The last periodical we recommend you cuddle up with in your armchair is Mother Earth News. It’s an authority on sustainable gardening, which is something we’re all thinking more about, and a delightful way to gather charming, earth-friendly ideas for your spring gardening as you while away the winter days.

Happy Holidays!


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