Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gardening Books for the Cold Days Ahead (Plus 2 Giveaways!)

The holidays are just a couple of days away, and I don't know about you, but I am more than ready for a break! I can think of nothing better to do than to curl with with a hot mug of coffee, a few sinfully good holiday cookies and a great gardening book.

In case you are hoping to do the same in the days to come, here are a few terrific gardening books that are bound to inspire:

Books about Specific Types of Gardens:

The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden 
by Johanna Silver
The subject of this book is Ruth Bancroft, a dry gardening pioneer, and the acclaimed public garden she created in Walnut Creek, California. In this book you'll discover the interesting history behind her garden, as well as the design principals that helped to create it. There are even helpful profiles of the plants that make this garden so unique. As you can tell from the cover, this is a visually stunning book filled with amazing photography.

Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style
by Joseph Tychonievich
In recent months, I have heard lots of talk that rock gardens are back in fashion, but with a bit of a modern twist. This makes Joseph Tychonievich's new book very timely. To get you inspired, the book showcases a variety of rock gardens from around the world. Once your interest is piqued, there are plant profiles of 50 of the best rock garden plants, and practical ideas for creating and maintaining your own rock garden.

Books for the more Philosophical Gardener:

Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes
by Thomas Rainer & Claudia West
This is another book with a tremendous amount of buzz. It aims to reinvent the way we think about urban spaces by designing landscapes that look and function more like they do in the wild. While the book suggests a new way of thinking, it is also offers practical ideas on creating plantings that are as vibrant as those found in naturally occurring plant communities.

Garden Revolution: How our landscapes can be a source of environmental change
by Larry Weaner & Thomas Christopher
This next book is not for everyone, but for the gardener who is looking for a better, smarter way to garden. Larry Weaner, who is a leader in the world of ecological landscape design, shows readers that choosing the right plants for a site can eliminate the need for weeding, irrigating and other time-consuming practices. 

Interesting Reads:

Biodynamic Gardening
by Dorling Dk
Does growing strong, healthy plants using the help of the moon and natural cycles sound a bit out there to you? Then this is the book that might change your mind! Biodynamic Gardening is a very useful and readable guide on using biodynamic techniques in a home garden. This book offers lots of practical advice and fully illustrated step-by-step instructions.

Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants in Your Garden
by Noel Kingsbury 
This is a gorgeous book filled with botanical illustrations, watercolours and paintings, as well as contemporary photographs of plant species. Garden Flora delves into the heritage of plants and the journey they have made to our modern gardens with fascinating tales of plant hunters, breeders and gardeners throughout history.

A Book that is Inspirational:

Image on the right taken from The Art of Gardening © Copyright 2015 by the Chanticleer Foundation. All rights reserved. 
Published by Timber Press, Portland OR. Used by permission of the publisher.
The Art of Gardening 
by R William Thomas and the Chanticleer Gardeners
Not a new publication, but rather one from last year, this is a book that still deserves a mention. It's filled with terrific photography, and expert advice from the team of gardeners that manage one of the most influential public gardens in the U.S.A.. This book will happily see you through the bleak winter months ahead.

Books Filled with Ideas:

Raised Bed Revolution
by Tara Nolan
I did a full review of Tara's book earlier this year which you can read here. I thought I should mention it again because it has such a great array of projects (not all of them traditional raised beds). 

by Michelle Slatalla
From the hugely popular gardening blog called Gardenista springs a book of the same name. This thick, weighty book features 12 stylish gardens, trendy design ideas, planting guides for a variety of gardening zones and color palettes, and a range of DIY projects.

Herbs & Useful Plants:

Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine 
by Tammi Hartung
The plants in your backyard have amazing stories to tell and fascinating uses you probably don't know about. In her new book, Tammi Hartung reveals the untold stories of 43 Native American plants and celebrates their modern versatility.

Healing Herbal Teas 
by Sarah Farr
Want to make your own herbal teas but have no idea where to begin? Master herbalist Sarah Farr offers 101 original herbal tea recipes that not only have health advantages, they taste great. In the book's pages you'll find recipes for blending and brewing teas that will reduce inflammation, ease digestion, boost your immune system and even help with seasonal allergies. 

The Giveaways:

Photos by Caitlin Atkinson from the book Plant Craft published by Timber Press. Used with permission of the publisher.

Plant Craft: 30 Projects that add Natural Style to your Home
by Caitlin Atkinson
What is a housebound gardener to do in the depths of winter? Get crafty of course! Plant Craft offers step-by-step instructions for 30 projects inspired by the natural world. 
Above you can see two of the projects from Caitlin Atkinson's new book. One the left is her "Staghorn Fern Shadowbox" and on the right is the "Rock and Sand Landscape".

Thomas Allen & Sons has kindly given me a copy of the Plant Craft to give away. Because I will have to send this book through the mail, I will have to limit entry in the draw to readers in Canada and the USA. 

Please leave a comment below if you would like to be included in the book draw. The draw will remain open for the until January 1stIf you are not a blogger, you can enter to win by leaving a comment on the Three Dogs in a Garden Facebook page. You are also welcome to enter by sending me an email (

Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden, with 100 recipes 
by Signe Langford

I am thrilled to have a second book, and my first gardening/cookbook, to giveaway. And what a delight this book is! 

It's ironic that one of the biggest trends in modern gardening is reviving time-honoured traditions like beekeeping and keeping a small flock of hens. We want healthy, organic food even if we have to produce it ourselves. There is also something so deeply satisfying about living in a way that is more self-sufficient.

From the book Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden – with 100 Recipes, ©2015, by Signe Langford, Photography by Donna Griffith. Published by Douglas & McIntyre. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

I think Signe Langford states what her book is about much better than I could ever hope to do when she writes, "My goal with this collection of anecdotes, advice, recipes and reminiscences is to entertain, inspire, inform and, with luck, lead you down the garden path...all the way to the coop and back into the kitchen with a new or renewed passion for growing, raising and cooking your own amazing food."

From the book Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden – with 100 Recipes, ©2015, by Signe Langford, Photography by Donna Griffith. Published by Douglas & McIntyre. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

Over on the food part of the blog, there is more about the book, along with a Sweet Lingonberry Jam Omelette Recipe (seen above) that Signe and her publisher Douglas & McIntyre have nicely permitted me to share. This fluffy omelette would make for a great holiday breakfast, don't you think?

Bookmark this post with a Pin.

Please note: I am going to do 2 separate drawsTo enter the draw for "Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs" click here. 

I will announce the two book winners in the new year. Best of luck everyone!


  1. Hope you enjoy the Christmas break Jennifer - you have shown an amazing selection of books. I hope you are keeping well - we seem to have gradually lost touch which is a shame - nonetheless I wish you a relaxing time over Christmas and also hope the New Year is good to you. p.s. your header is beautiful

  2. Merry Christmas, Jennifer. I'm blessed with a full house this Christmas-promising myself a quiet, book filled January.

  3. Merry Christmas. Would love to win the Plant Craft book. Always looking to bring nature indoors. Thanks for all the information and beautiful photographs you share.

  4. Thank you for lots of suggestions of books to inspire! I totally agree about looking forward to curling up with a good book hot drink and biscuit! Let's hope there is time to really do it!
    Happy christmas to you !

  5. What an inspiring set of books, I'd enjoy them all.Wishing you a marvelous

  6. I am more than ready for a bit of a break too. It's been a good kind of busy, but yes, a break is in order! :-)
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a bright and beautiful New Year, my friend.

  7. Great suggestions for more gardening books. I´m looking forward to have some lazy days reading the pile of books on my side-table. But first the preparations for our family dinner tomorrow, also a joy.
    Wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017!

  8. Wonderful reviews as always, Jennifer. I picked up The Art of Gardening at a recent visit to Chanticleer. It is a beautiful book. I am anxious to read Planting in a Post-Wild World -- I believe it takes organic gardening and conservation to a whole new level. Merry Christmas and Happy Reading! P. x

  9. Very interesting books, Jennifer. I especially would like to read (in translation :-) about plant craft and hens.
    I with you a Merry Christmas!

  10. All of these books look like a good read/look. Curled up on a cozy couch in front of a fire. Thanks for the opportunity to win one.


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