The Garden Spotter

5 Garden Books for Giving


garden books Countless, countless garden books have been written this year, so many that it is impossible to narrow it down to just a handful to recommend. Nevertheless, here are five that have caught my eye this year. Some are best sellers, while others are brand new for Christmas-gifting.

All the Presidents’ Gardens

(by Marta McDowell, Timber Press, 2016) Michelle Obama’s Kitchen Garden is only the latest garden tended by the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In her book, McDowell traces the history of all gardens at the White House since the first residents, John Quincy Adams and his wife Abigail Adams, moved in in 1800. Learn about Abraham Lincoln’s goats, Jackie O’s roses, and Amy Carter’s tree house and much more in this beautiful book published by Timber Press.

The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden

(by Johanna Silver, Timber Press, 2016) It’s no secret that water – or the lack thereof – is one of the biggest issues facing our gardens today. This beautifully illustrated garden book takes an in-depth look at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California, perhaps one of the most famous dry gardens. Learn about the history of the garden and its creator, plus get plant lists and care tips for numerous drought defying garden plants.

Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces

(by Michelle Slatalla, Artisan, 2016) The garden spaces we design, Slatalla contends, should be as thoughtful and sublime as indoor spaces. In her latest book, the former New York Times Style columnist and creator of the popular blog Gardenista, shares 12 outdoor spaces that beautifully illustrated that idea, plus planting guides, color tips and landscape advice from the experts. a-wilder-life

A Wilder Life: A Season-by-Season Guide to Getting In Touch With Nature

(by Celestine Maddy with Abbye Churchill, Artisan, 2016) A coffee table idea book from the writers of the popular magazine, Wilder Quarterly. The book offers dozens of ideas for connecting with nature, from identifying bugs to planting a night blooming garden to tinting your clothes with natural dyes.

The Rooftop Growing Guide: How to Transform Your Roof into a Vegetable Garden or Farm

(by Annie Novak, Penguin Random House, 2016) One of the biggest trends in gardening today is rooftop gardening. Novak offers a manual on how to do it, from plant selection and care to profiles of rooftops across the country. Get information on hydroponics, container gardening, greenhouse growing and much more.

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