Gardening from the Couch: Garden Design's Top 10 gardening books
Garden Design magazine gets the first look at new gardening books. Here's their new Top 10.
1. Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit by Scott Ogden & Lauren Springer Ogden (Timber Press)
The Ogdens put plants first when designing gardens and have assembled a photo-rich book filled with plant ideas, where they'd best flourish and in what kind of gardens. Their holistic approach embraces people, places and the natural world.
2. Sean Conway's Cultivating Life: 125 Projects for Backyard Living by Sean Conway & Lee Alan Buttala (Artisan Books)
Be warned: Flip open this book and you won't be able to resist beginning a new project. The step-by-step instructions, materials, tools lists and the full-color photos mean you'll likely finish the project too.
3. Organic Crops in Pots: How to Grow Your Own Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell (Cico Books)
If you think you don't have space to grow your own food, think again. This book debunks that notion with practical and beautiful ideas for growing organic crops in containers. Photos of lusty bunches of mint evoke a perfect mojito, and red lettuce and shiso grown in enamel tins translate to a lightly dressed summer salad dressed.
4. Organic Kitchen Garden by Juliet Roberts, photographs by Gavin Kingcome (Conran Octopus)
This book? Gorgeous, informative and totally enticing. Author Juliet Roberts teams up with gardening guru Mike Thurlow to present a definitive guide for all gardeners interested in the art of organic-vegetable growing. The book includes monthly lists to remind you of which jobs need doing, what to expect from your garden, and tips on assessing your plot and crop rotation.
5. The Family Kitchen Garden: How to Plant, Grow, and Cook Together by Karen Liebreich, Jutta Wagner and Annettte Wendland (Timber Press)
We love this book's approach to gardening as a family and including kids in the joys of planning, designing, growing and harvesting a garden, and then cooking and eating its bounty. Includes monthly task lists, harvesting, uses and recipes.
6. The Container Gardener's Bible: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing in all Kinds of Containers, Conditions and Locations by Joanna K. Harrison and Miranda Smith (Rodale Books)
Whether you have a small-space garden or just love containers, you'll find everything you need to know to create plant combinations, mix the right soils, address the level of care you are willing (and able) to devote to your containers and determine the tools you'll need.
7. The All-New Illustrated Guide to Gardening (Reader's Digest Trade Publishing)
This tome is big, color-coded by zone and filled with charts and pictures. Need we say more? Did we mention that this revised and updated edition is now all-organic?
8. Perennial Companions: 100 Dazzling Plant Combinations for Every Season by Tom Fischer, photographs by Richard Bloom & Adrian Bloom (Timber Press)
In this easy-to-tote garden companion, Tom Fisher not only shares his favorite combinations, but also offers the conditions and care required and indicates when the combination reaches its peak of beauty.9. Designer Plant Combinations: 105 Stunning Gardens Using Six Plants or Fewer by Scott Calhoun (Storey Publishing)
Modern garden design is all about repetition — that's why we love Calhoun's mission to combine six kinds of plants or fewer. The photos and organization of this book make for straightforward execution of ideas that appear complicated. Plant and repeat!10. Encyclopedia of Planting Combinations by Tony Lord, photography by Andrew Lawson (Firefly Books Ltd)
Here you'll find more than 4,000 color and planting combinations. This is the reference book your library can't do without.
(The New York Times has also released its list of the best gardening books of the season.)