Saturday, December 15, 2018

A Wishlist of Garden Books + a Holiday Giveaway

Books get me through the winter, so there is always gardening books on my wishlist for the holidays. I would be thrilled to find any of the following under the tree this year:

Books with Great Visual Appeal

Highgrove: An English Country Garden by H.R.H Prince Charles and Bunny Guinness
Prince Charles is a pioneer in organic garden practices. With lovely photographs and watercolor illustrations by the Prince himself, this book is a gorgeous exploration of the gardens at Highgrove House.  (4.3/5 on Goodreads, 5 stars on Amazon)

Garden Design: A Book of Ideas by Heidi Howcroft and Marianne Majerus
My next suggestion offers a wealth of design ideas all brought home by stunning photographs. The authors lead you through the process of designing a garden in an eloquent and insightful way. (4.1/5 on Goodreads, 5 stars on Amazon)

Gardenlust by Christopher Woods
In Gardenlust, intrepid plant hunter Christopher Woods spotlights 50 modern gardens, both private and public, that he feels push boundaries and define natural beauty in significant ways. Armchair travel at its best! (4.1/5 on Goodreads, 4.5 stars on Amazon)

The Garden in Every Sense and Season by Tovah Martin 
This is a book on my own personal Christmas wishlist. Unlike the vast majority of garden books that focus on the how-to's of gardening (the weeding, planting, pruning, etc.), in this book Tovah Martin reflects on the delights of her own garden and encourages readers to become more attuned to their own gardens. I am a fan of the author's two previous books on houseplants, so I am really looking forward to curling up with this book in the cold days ahead. (4.2/5 on Goodreads, 4.5 stars on Amazon)

A Tapestry Garden by Marietta and Ernie O'Byrne
This is a memoir about creating a garden on one and a half acres in the Pacific Northwest. While the story is very enjoyable, it is the photographs that make this book sing. (4/5 on Goodreads, 4.5 stars on Amazon)

A spread from Garden Style by Selina Lake

Garden Style by Selina Lake
If you like the decorative side of gardening, this book is for you. With lots of terrific visual inspiration, the author shows you how to transform your garden into a stylish space for relaxing and entertaining. (3.56 on Goodreads, 4 stars on Amazon)

Project Books

Projects for Self-Sufficiency by Black and Decker 
My husband picked this one. Step-by-step instructions and photos lead you through 60 projects (Note: some carpentry skills required). Projects include raised planting beds, rain barrels, compost bins, a chicken coop, hoop houses and greenhouses. (4.6/5 on Goodreads, 4.5 stars on Amazon)

Wood Pallet Wonders by Samantha Hartman
Some wood pallet projects can be downright tacky in my humble opinion. This book offers 20 rustic, farmhouse-style projects (many with a possible garden use) that I thought were quite charming and possible to do with basic carpentry skills. (3.33/5 on Goodreads, 5 stars on Amazon)

Hypertufa Containers: Creating and Planting an Alpine Trough Garden by Lori Chips
I have wanted to make hypertufa projects for years, but have never gotten around to it. Recommended by the North American Rockgarden Society as "a complete guide to designing, making and planting hypertufa troughs", this book sounds like inspiration I need to finally get me started. (4.45 on Goodreads and Amazon)

An example of a hypertufa container (though not from the book).

For the Houseplant Lover

At Home with Plants by Ian Drummond &Kara O'Reilly
Houseplants are back in fashion big time! At Home with Plants shows the novice indoor gardener how to transform their home with plants, offering up more than 250 inspirational pictures and ideas for each room in the house. (3.6 on Goodreads and 4 stars on Amazon)

A spread from the Practical Houseplant Book by Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway

Practical Houseplant Book by Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway
This guide offers 175 plant profiles and 12 step-by-step projects to display indoor plants creatively. (4.43 on Goodreads and 5 stars on Amazon)

For the Nature Lover

Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing by Yoshifumi Miyazaki 
Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art and Science of Forest Bathing by Qing Li
Have you ever heard of forest bathing? I hadn't until recently and would love to learn more. Forest bathing is connecting with nature to reduce stress and improve your health and happiness. There are a number of books on the subject, but I will suggest two. Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing is a bestseller for Timber Press. Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art and Science of Forest Bathing has the best rating of on Goodreads.

Our Native Bees: North America's Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them by Paige Embry
A lot of what you read these days focuses on honey bees. North American native bees are just as deserving of our attention. Endangered native species of bees are essential to our ecosystems and food supplies. (4.3 on Goodreads and 4.5 stars on Amazon)

For the Vegetable Gardener

No Dig Organic Home & Garden: Grow, Cook, Use & Store Your Harvest by Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty 
Well-known author Charles Dowling has been gardening intensively for over thirty-five years. Co-author Stephanie Hafferty is a kitchen gardener who has created no-dig gardens for restaurants and private estates. Together they explain the benefits of the no dig approach to vegetable gardening with tips on composting, living sustainably, harvesting and preparing food year round.  Also included are recipes for making natural cosmetics, cleaning products and garden preparations. (4.2 on Goodreads and 4.5 stars on Amazon)

The Food Lover's Garden: Growing, Cooking and Eating Well by Jenni Blackmore
This book was recommended to me by Signe Langford who often writes for this blog. This book reads like a casual conversation over the back fence and is a great beginner's guide to growing, cooking and preserving easy-to-grow vegetables. (too early for ratings on Goodreads and Amazon)

A view of Niki's garden in the late summer. Photography by Niki Jabbour

Veggie Garden Remix by Niki Jabbour
In her latest book, best-selling author Niki Jabbour encourages her readers to expand the repertoire of vegetables they grow with over two hundred vegetable alternatives from around the world. To boost your confidence, Niki provides growing information for each plant, along with fun facts and a plant history. As always, Niki's writing is light, informative and entertaining. (4.3 on Goodreads and 5 stars on Amazon)

So that's my list. There are lots of great choices. The hard part is deciding which one! 

It wouldn't be one of my book reviews without a giveaway. Timber Press has very nicely provided me with a copy of Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World's Best New Gardens to give away to one lucky reader. Because this book will go to a winner through the mail, we will have to limit entry 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 until Thursday, January 3rdIf you are not a blogger, you can enter by leaving a comment on the Three Dogs in a Garden Facebook page (there is an additional link to the Facebook page at the bottom of the blog). You are also welcome to enter by sending me an email (

Good luck everyone!


  1. Thanks for sharing this great list of books! I'd love to win Gardenlust.

  2. What a great selection of books. I would love to have my name thrown in the hat so to speak. Thanks for the opportunity! ;)

  3. Wonderful collection of books - Merry Christmas Jennifer!

  4. Looks like delightful read for winter
    Oh I hope I win

  5. I too have always wanted to try making hypertufa containers. Now that I am retired I am tempted to give it a try.....or at least read about it on a dark and stormy night. But winning a garden book would be even more appealing!

  6. Thanks for the great article. I love inspirational books esp during the cold winter months.

  7. Great selection of gardening books. Always nice to have new gardening books to look at over the winter. Would love to win a book!

  8. I love seeing recommendations on gardening books because there are so many. I plan on ordering Garden Remix. I like finding new things to try.

  9. "Garden Lust" how perfectly descriptive of the way I feel when I see so many others gardens! I'd love to win this book & hope I've been a good enough girl (as long as he didn't look at MY garden) that Santa brings me the rest. OR a certain contest held every year about this time that shows up on people's doorstep's with a fabulous check FINALLY gets my address RIGHT this year!

  10. Sounds like a great read so thank you for the give away! Merry Christmas to you Jennifer and all good wishes for 2019.

  11. Wow, Jennifer, what a wonderful, comprehensive list of current gardening books! Your reviews are very well done. I have added several titles to my wish list. I would love to be included in the give-away, thank you. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Gardening in 2019. P. x

  12. Thanks everyone for entering the latest draw. I am gathering up the names to put in my little draw box. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year to all who have entered.

  13. I love your book lists... I always find a new book or two to look out for. Thank you for another lovely year of useful, entertaining, and beautiful gardening posts.

    And if not too late, I would love to be included in the drawing...

    1. It's not too late. Thanks for all the encouragement Kathleen! Best wishes for 2019!

  14. Such an enabler! Merry Christmas to you and yours.


    1. Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year Julie!


I love to hear from you. Thanks for leaving a comment.