22 Top Picks Garden Books Featured on The Daily Gardener Podcast August 2019

Grow That Garden Library

“My beginning, started with rare books on plants and garden plants, mostly French or Italian. They were like my Bibles.“ ~Bunny Mellon

For many people gardens are just extensions of the kitchen.

Today restaurants are utilizing rooftop gardens for growing herbs and spices and larger plots allow for cultivating vegetables along with fruit trees.
 
The garden chef offers more than 100 garden focused recipes and it shares how 40 of the worlds top chefs grow and cook  with produce directly from their garden.
 
The book offers stories along with the recipes for folks to enjoy reading cookbooks end it also offers tips for gardeners showing how the smallest space can grow Something delicious to eat
 
 

 
This award winning book  offers a lovely blend of cookbook along with garden stories that allow you to live vicariously with Hesser on a culinary school of estate in burgundy France. 
 
Since the book is about traditional French gardening and cooking, it also captures the local customs and wisdom cultivated in provincial France.
 
Each chapter covers a month. The book can be read one season at a time, following along with the changes on the calendar and in the harvest.   Each season offers a recipe for stock.
 
The little stories about the gardener are delightful and there are wonderful tips that gardeners will appreciate appreciate. For instance, Amanda learned not to pick cabbages before a frost because the frost enhances the flavor. There’s a lovely recipe for pumpkin soup as well as all kinds of preserves.
 
This is my favorite kind of book because it’s part cookbook, part garden story, and part history.
 
Best of all, the tone is cozy-cozy,  charming,  and conversational.
 
 

Southern Livingsaid this about Lucinda Hutson's book:
 
"Lucinda Hutson’s garden is something of a legend in Austin. An invitation from Lucinda, an authority on ethnic herbs and an accomplished cook, to sample a new dish or special punch in her flamboyant setting is a guaranteed fiesta. . . . And her gusto for entertaining and cooking is exemplified in her recipes [in] The Herb Garden Cookbook."
 
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with all the herbs growing in your garden, Hutson‘s book will be an inspiration for you.
 
This book was published back in 2003, but it is a classic. You can get used copies on Amazon using the link provided in today's show notes for under three dollars.
 
 

Oh, to live in Victorian times; when the meaning of a flower had so many more possibilities than just, "I love you".
 
This book is a delight for the gardener who enjoys learning the difference between a red rose and a white one during this time in history. In addition to flowers, this book even shares the meanings of fruits and vegetables.
 
Many of the meanings are rooted in classical literature; in that regard, this book provides added insight across subjects.

 
This book reveals both the history and science of the night garden. The topic of night-blooming plants has always fascinated gardeners. For example, newspaper articles over the past two centuries have shared excited reports of blooms on the night blooming cereus.
 
This book came out in the early 90's and was advertised to gardeners who found themselves working long hours during the daytime which equated to little time for gardening.
 
This book offers information about the history and the raising of night blooming plants as well as chapters on night fragrances, wildlife, and plans for outdoor lighting. It’s an oldie but goodie.
 
You can get copies of this book on Amazon using the today show notes for as little as $.25 
 
 

 
Today’s book is one of my favorites - Judith Hahn offers delicious recipes and growing tips to transform your food. 
 
And, I love the way Judith starts out talking about herbs in the forward of her book she writes,
 
"Herbs have taken over my life. They have been catalysts in the kitchen, liberating my cooking by encouraging me to be more creative. And they have also helped me to become a more serious plants woman, using the different shades of green, the texture and shape of the leaves, their intoxicating aroma and their glorious flowers to transform the look of my garden."
 
And did I mention that this book is absolutely beautiful? Because it is- and the photography inspires creativity like crazy. My favorite part of the book are all the anecdotes along with Hahn’s advice for how to make the most of the herbs in your garden.
 
 
 

This book offers advice on how to gather herbs and prepare remedies. Also includes a lovely reference in an A to Z format. For each herb, it tells how to grow, harvest, dry store and use each plant.
 
Beginners using herbs will appreciate the step-by-step instructions for making tinctures, decoctions, infusions, and other types of homemade medicines.
 

This book features 135 of the most widely used medicinal herbs.
 
There is a very helpful cure finder chart that shares treatments for more than 100 common conditions; for example: cinnamon to treat cuts and scrapes, Saint Johns Wort to speed healing, etc.
 
For each Herb, there are drawings, the history of the herb, plus instructions for growing it in your herb garden.
 
 

 

 

  
The subtitle of the book is "A young botanist’s search for happiness.

Bersweden was 19 years old, when he set off on a project to see all 52 species of wild orchid in Britain and Ireland. Over one summer, as he passed his gap year, before going to Oxford University.

Bersweden was 12 years old when he asked his mom about plants. He’s continued to learn about them ever since.
 
Bersweden attempted to see and photograph the wild orchids of the UK in a single season. He’s a talented writer and a passionate plantsman. I won’t spoil it for you - you’ll have to read for yourself whether he completes his quest. The book is funny, enthusiastic, and brilliant 

It’s hard to believe, but in the 1630s, the tulip trade was a big deal.
 
Tulip bulbs changed hands for incredible amounts of money. At one point, flowers were being sold for more than the cost of a home. This was truly Tulipomania and as the book shares, it was the first futures market in history.
 
The book documents the  ancestry of the tulip. From their origins in Asia, migrating west to Turkey, and then to Antwerp where a man working on the docks, sees a stray bulb on the ground, picks it up, takes it home, and ate it - thinking it was an onion. 
Dash is an excellent writer. The book is a delightful read.
 
 

Farr's book helps us understand the poets relationship with specific flowers.
 
It also helps us understand some of the floral symbolism that Dickinson uses in her poems which Dickinson herself called "Blossoms of the Brain". Without this information, they can be difficult to understand.
 
Gardening was a huge part of Dickinson‘s life.
 
Jasmine was on her list of favorite flowers. It was third, next to dearest Daphne, and except for wildflowers, which Dickinson considered dearest of all.
 
 

 

This is a new book that just came out in June of this year from Timberpress.
 
The images are gorgeous and this book feels quite modern and very on trend. This is a very beginner friendly introduction to plants, flowers, and seeds.

The Healing Herbs provides an easy-to-use A-to-Z herb encyclopedia. It explains where to find the herbs, how to use them, store them, work with them, and  how to grow them.

 

This is an oldie but goodie and it was published back in 1973.
 
The author teaches many applications for working with roses including how to crystallize the petals and preserve the buds, how to use the rose leaves to flavor wines and vinegar, and how to use roses in medicinal ways.
 
So much rose wisdom has been lost to time. It’s wonderful to have resources like this still available. This book offers 83 recipes all together thanks to the herbalist Eleanor Sinclair Rhode, who gathered her information from a number of legendary herbalists, such as Sir Hugh Platt, Gervase Markham.


This is such a good book. You get to learn how to make your own herbal remedies - and Gladstar make it makes it so easy. She’s been training herbalists for 25 years at her Sage Mountain Retreat Center in Vermont.
 
This is an excellent guide for figuring out some herb basics  and their practical uses from one of the best herbalists in America.
 
 

This book is a favorite among women and female gardeners looking to utilize herbs for women’s health. Specifically, there are tons of great recipes in here and lots of useful information.
 
 The book covers common disorders and the herbs that are effective for treating them. Gladstar shares how to select in-store herbs and then how to pair hundreds of herbal remedies.
 
I think what is especially helpful about this book is Rosemary‘s exclamation of the properties of herbs and then, not only how herbs are healing, but how they promote good health as well.
 
Rosemary is called the godmother of modern herbalism 
 
 

I remember the first time I grew Prickly Pear Cactus in my garden and I fell immediately in love with it.
 
This charming cookbook celebrates the Prickly Pear Cactus. The spines of the plant actually protect it from being eaten. Fortunately, we’ve found a way around that. The cookbook contains 60 recipes for using the fruit of the cactus, in addition to the pads – all of which are edible and all of which are nutritious. And Niethammer teaches that it is increasingly included in the treatment of diabetes. Niethammer is a wild food expert and a master cook.
 

 

Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring, sparked the modern environmental movement.

Author Linda Lear, writes her biography, in Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature - which came out in 2009. 

The book has been praised for Lear's exhaustive research and for portraying the human side of Rachel Carson's too short life.
Here's a fun fact: Lear also wrote a fine biography of Beatrix Potter.

You can get used copies using the Amazon Link in today's show notes for around $4.
 
 

Rafael Palomino is a world-famous chef, restauranteur, and cookbook author. This cookbook, Nueva Salsa, was published in 2003. 

Salsas offer tremendous flavor, variety, and spice. They are quick and easy to make at home. Nueva Salsa features over 60 fantastic recipes including tomato-based versions as well as salsas that are Asian-inspired. There's a decadent Fruit Salsa and Three Berry Salsa which is the perfect accompaniment to desserts, shortbreads, and ice creams.

You can get used copies of Nueva Salsa on Amazon using the link in today's show notes for a little over a dollar!
 

If you're a beginner forager, and most of us fall in to that category, this beautifully formatted guide will be your go to resource - even advanced foragers find it helpful.

Lisa's plant profiles include color photos, tips for identification, and excellent ideas for both eating and preserving your treasures. Lisa's friendly and matter-of-fact approach shines through in this work; she takes the fear out of foraging!

Colors from Nature was published in 1993. McRae shares how to grow plants to collect, prepare and use natural dyes.

 

This fantastic book came out this summer - It's a fantastic resource. If you are a deer-plagued gardener, you're going to want to get this book.

Instead of relying on fencing or chemicals, Karen is proposing another way: making intentional selections for deer resistant plants. She showcases real home gardens across North America from New Jersey to Texas. Each homeowner shares their top ten deer-resistant plants. It's a book of best practices - proven selection for a lush, deer-defying garden. what a brilliant idea!
 

This exhibition originated at the Yale Center for British Art and ended at Fitzwilliam in Cambridge. A visually magnificent book.  Published in 2009, new it sells for $45. Used copies are available on Amazon for less than $10.

 

Paxton was, by all accounts, a genius.  It was Charles Dickens who dubbed him, "The Busiest Man in England."

The book features 18 gardens and 20 writers; the author reveals how the gardens were tended and enjoyed.

The book highlights the gardens of:

Jane Austen at Godmersham and Chawton
Rupert Brooke at Grantchester
John Ruskin at Brantwood
Agatha Christie at Greenway
Beatrix Potter at Hill Top
Roald Dahl at Gipsy House
Charles Dickens at Gad's Hill Place
Virginia Woolf at Monk's House
Winston Churchill at Chartwell
Laurence Sterne at Shandy Hall
George Bernard Shaw at Shaw's Corner
Ted Hughes at Lumb Bank
Henry James followed by E.F. Benson at Lamb House
John Clare at Helpston
Thomas Hardy at Hardy's Cottage and Max Gate
Robert Burns at Ellisland
William Wordsworth at Cockermouth and Grasmere
Walter Scott at Abbotsford
Rudyard Kipling at Bateman's

Brimming with gorgeous artwork from New York Times bestselling author and artist Katie Daisy, this fresh-as-a-daisy guided journal features thoughtful prompts to encourage engagement with the natural world. From bird-spotting advice to camping checklists, each exercise is executed in the artist's lovely signature style.
 

 

An award-winning garden designer's practical how-to book with stories and philosophy.
 
The Garden Awakening is a step-by-step manual to help create a garden in harmony with the life force in the earth; addressing not only what the people in charge of the land want but also asking what the land wants to become. Mary Reynolds demonstrates how to create a groundbreaking garden that is not simply a solitary space but an expanding, living, interconnected ecosystem. Drawing on old Irish ways and methods of working with the land, this beautiful book is both art and inspiration for any garden lover seeking to create a positive, natural space.

In real life, Treat actually exchanged letters with Darwin Asa Gray. She is referenced in Darwin's book Insectivorous Plants.  She published 5 books and over 70 articles; there are four species named after her. She studied insects, carnivorous plants, and general botany.  Treat put spiders in candy jars filled with moss and plants - 
"so that my nervous lady friends may admire the plants without being shocked with the knowledge that each of these jars is the home of a spider."

Treat talked to all living things; she was an amazing woman who helped establish our understanding of carnivorous plants.

If you are interested in other early naturalists of Michigan, there is a terrific book by Dr. Edward G. Voss entitled “Botanical Beachcombers and Explorers: Pioneers of the 19th Century in the Upper Great Lakes,” published in 1978 by University of Michigan Herbarium.

 

This Atlas invites the reader to tour the farthest reaches of the rainforest in search of exotic―poetic―plant life. Guided in these botanical encounters by Francis Hallé, who has spent forty years in pursuit of the strange and beautiful plant specimens of the rainforest, the reader discovers a plant with just one solitary, monumental leaf; an invasive hyacinth; a tree that walks; a parasitic laurel; and a dancing vine.
 
Further explorations reveal the Rafflesia arnoldii, the biggest flower in the world, with a crown of stamens and pistils the color of rotten meat that exude the stench of garbage in the summer sun; underground trees with leaves that form a carpet on the ground above them; and the biggest tree in Africa, which can reach seventy meters (more than 200 feet) in height, with a four-meter (about 13 feet) diameter. Hallé's drawings, many in color, provide a witty accompaniment.
 
Like any good tour guide, Hallé tells stories to illustrate his facts. Readers learn about, among other things, Queen Victoria's rubber tree; legends of the moabi tree (for example, that powder from the bark confers invisibility); a flower that absorbs energy from a tree; plants that imitate other plants; a tree that rains; and a fern that clones itself.
 
Hallé's drawings represent an investment in time that returns a dividend of wonder more satisfying than the ephemeral thrill afforded by the photograph. The Atlas of Poetic Botany allows us to be amazed by forms of life that seem as strange as visitors from another planet.

In this reprint of a 1983 book, venerable English horticulturist, painter, and writer Graham Stuart Thomas recounts his journey from his first garden to the present day, charmingly describing the three gardens he has owned and the plants he has tended in each. Includes some 750 plant profiles, eight plant portraits painted by the author, and (poorly reproduced) color and b&w photographs, also by the author. Distributed by Timber Press. 

 

Studio Oh offers inspired collections of finely crafted and cleverly designed journals and other decorative home accessories.  Their new cactus line of products will be a sure hit with gardeners.

Davison worked at the Royal Horticultural Society's library, and she unearthed a collection of handwritten letters that dated back to 1822. The letters had been written by young gardeners including one from a young Joseph Paxton (Books By This Author), who would go on to become one of our best-known gardeners and architects. Using their letters, Fiona Davison traces the stories of a handful of these forgotten gardeners whose lives would take divergent paths to create a unique history of gardening.

The trail took her from Chiswick to Bolivia and uncovered tales of fraud, scandal and madness - and, of course, a large number of fabulous plants and gardens. This is a celebration of the unsung heroes of horticulture whose achievements reflect a golden moment in British gardening, and continue to influence how we garden today.