Skip to main content

HappySprout may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The best books to gift to gardeners old and new

We all have a friend, or we are that friend, who loves to garden. Whether it’s flowers, house plants, or vegetables, there’s a type of gardening for everyone. Luckily, there’s also a gardening book for everyone. Here are some of the best books to gift to the gardeners in your life, no matter what their pleasure is — indoor gardening, veggies, beautiful blooms, or something in between.

Raised Bed Gardening by Tammy Wylie

“Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners” by Tammy Wylie shows even the most inexperienced gardener how to turn a small space into a haven for vegetables. In her book, she walks through the process of planning, building, and filling a raised bed garden. There are sections about crop rotation, seed starting, and soil. 

At the end of her book, the author highlights tips and tricks for specific plants. Here you’ll learn about spacing, watering, light, and the growing season. Even veteran gardeners can benefit from this easily digestible book about starting and sustaining a thriving raised bed garden.

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith

Filled to the brim with helpful diagrams and photos, Edward C. Smith’s book, “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible,” is a book every gardener needs in their arsenal. If lots of space is available to you, Smith goes into detail about how you can grow a high-yield garden all on your own. 

The author also suggests using wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deep soil. This is what he calls the W-O-R-D system, and he stands by the fact that any gardener within North America can use this and be successful. Check it out for yourself or a friend!

Field Guide to Urban Gardening by Kevin Espiritu

Not only did Kevin Espiritu write this incredible book about urban gardening, but he also runs two very successful YouTube channels, a blog, a Twitter, and an Instagram. While he’s busy with all these ventures, he still has time to grow and maintain his vast epic garden. 

In his book, “Field Guide to Urban Gardening,” Espiritu teaches you that even within a high-rise apartment, there is something you can grow. Using containers, bags, or hydroponics, there is something that will work for everyone. 

There are also in-depth gardening plants and upscale DIY projects to bring solutions to your growing problems and recycle items that would end up in a landfill. With this book, the author proves that everyone has a green thumb.

The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips

Fruit trees are one of the most intimidating types of gardening to old and new gardeners alike. However, with Michael Phillips’ book, “The Holistic Orchard,” everyone can learn to care for and grow productive fruit trees. 

In his book, Phillips covers grafting, pruning, pollination and teaches you how to deal with bugs, disease, and pests. 

Take on the challenge and help the planet while you’re at it by planting fruit trees that produce not only delicious fruit but also provide excellent habitats and ecosystems for pollinators and other beneficial animals. 

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham

More and more people are gaining interest in becoming self-sustaining. You probably know someone who talks about it or is even attempting it. This book would be an excellent gift for those looking to be more responsible for their own food. 

Brett L. Markham talks about a holistic approach to small-area farming. In his book, “Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre,” he claims to be able to provide 85 percent of the average family’s food. Markham’s book teaches you everything you need to know from seed starting to crop rotation and dealing with pests and disease. 

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

While growing edible foods in your garden is delicious, growing beautiful flowers is just as fun and rewarding. In her book, “Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden,” Erin Benzakein teaches how to grow flowers in various climates. She also gives clear and precise instructions on cutting and arranging a wide range of flower arrangements. From garlands to centerpieces, you’re sure to learn everything you need to start a new hobby or hone an already established skill in flower arranging. 

100 Plants to Feed the Bees by the Xerces Society

We can’t talk about gardening without talking about pollinators. Without these beautiful and vital insects, vegetable plants wouldn’t produce fruit, flowers would wilt and die, and the earth would be much less green and beautiful. In their book, “100 Plants to Feed the Bees,” the Xerces Society talks about important flowers, herbs, and trees to plant to support the delicate ecosystem of pollinators in your area. 

Included within the book are plant profiles where you can learn about where the plant grows, which pollinator will benefit from it, and where and when to plant it within your landscape or garden.  This book is an excellent addition to any gardener’s library and will complement any of the books mentioned above. 

Gardening is one of the healthiest hobbies you can start. Not only is it great exercise, but it’s also great for our mental health. Whether your friends are gardening newbies or seasoned enthusiasts, one of these books is sure to make a great gift. Get outdoors and explore the exciting and rewarding gift of nature with these books as a guide. 

Editors' Recommendations

Rebecca Wolken
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rebecca's has written for Bob Villa and a Cincinnati based remodeling company. When she's not writing about home remodeling…
Everything you need to know about choosing the best rocks for landscaping
From pea gravel to cobblestones, find out which landscaping rocks will fit your outdoor space
Pathway made of flagstone rocks

Stonescaping is a very common, sleek, and clean approach to sprucing up a garden. Stones help create a different texture among the greenery in a garden, and they’re perfect if you want to create a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance outdoor space, because they can function as mulch for your foliage plants.

With a wide variety of rocks out there, you can build entire rock gardens (such as a serene zen garden), using stones to create focal points and provide accents. While you can place statement, stand-alone rocks, piles or blocks of stones can also be functional for walls, pathways, and seats in your garden. 

Read more
Focus on color: Red plants that will bring a festive vibe to any home or garden
Plants that feature joyful red foliage and flowers

During the transitional period between fall and winter, there’s nothing like a vibrant red plant to infuse your garden with festive cheer. As the weather becomes grayer, brighten up your landscape with a splash of scarlet or burgundy. There are plenty of plants with delicate red blooms as well as those with striking red foliage. From the low-maintenance burning bush to the ubiquitous poinsettia, here are seven festive red plants to grow for the holiday season.

Cyclamens often hit your local garden centers during the holiday season. This delicate tuberous plant features marbled or matte green leaves with butterfly-shaped white, purple, pink, or of course, red flowers. It blooms during the fall and winter, then goes through dormancy in the summer, during which its foliage dies down. It's hardy down to 23 degrees Fahrenheit, but it does best around 50 to 65 degrees — consider bringing it indoors during the winter. With this plant, you’ll want to provide adequate bright indirect light for blooms. It also appreciates being watered deeply once its soil dries out, but be careful with overwatering during winter.

Read more
The best and brightest zone 7 perennials to grow in your garden
The loveliest zone 7 perennial flowers to add to your garden
Liatris spicata blooms

If you're new to growing flower gardens or are bored with the flowers you typically grow, you might want to check out this list of zone 7 friendly perennials. Of course, this is not an extensive list of all the flowers you can grow in zone 7, but these are some of our favorites. They are unique, colorful, and low maintenance so that you can grow them no matter your gardening experience level.

Liriope muscari 'Variegata'
The Liriope muscari can survive in full sun or full shade, and they're also very drought tolerant. This means they're low maintenance and fantastic for beginner gardeners. The tiny purple blooms appear between August and September and look amazing against the bright green and yellow variegated leaves. And more good news — deer won't eat them, and they act as an excellent ground cover! Prune the dead foliage down to the ground in winter and watch them pop back up in the spring.

Read more