Eight gardening books to inspire you to get growing

Charlotte Moss Flowers

For famed interior decorator Charlotte Moss, no room is complete without flowers. In her 11th book, she sought to capture the thoughtful arrangements that punctuate her personal spaces and those of her clients. Packed with helpful tips, the book is ideal reading for gardeners who are keen to show off their prized blooms indoors.

Charlotte Moss Flowers by Charlotte Moss, $67.50 at bookstores and online (rizzoliusa.com).[1]

The Naturally Beautiful Garden

In this book, author Kathryn Bradley-Hole explores what it means to have a garden that works with, rather than against, nature. The lush images of some 30 gardens from across the globe demonstrate that there’s no beauty or creativity lost when environmentally mindful methods are employed.

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The Naturally Beautiful Garden by Kathryn Bradley-Hole, $75 at bookstores and online April 13 (rizzoliusa.com).[2]

First Garden

Style icon C.Z. Guest wrote this charming book in 1976, and in the subsequent printing (which is easier to find) none of her personal gardening adventures and practical tips and tricks for first timers were omitted. Truman Capote’s zippy introduction and splendid illustrations by Sir Cecil Beaton both remain.

First Garden by C.Z. Guest, $50 through TorontoVintages on etsy.com.[3]

Braiding Sweetgrass

This book was an instant bestseller, and for good reason. Author and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer beautifully connects her readers to land and nature. For her, plants and animals are our oldest teachers. Pulling from her life as an indigenous scientist, Kimmerer reveals the gifts and lessons that living beings, be it a strawberry or salamander, can provide.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, $52.50 at bookstores and online (milkweed.org).[4]


Not everyone has access to a plot of land or even a balcony to make a garden of their own. For those whose horticultural space is limited, this book serves as a guide for growing inside. With it, the prospect of successful plant parenting feels attainable.

Plantopedia: The Definitive Guide to Houseplants by Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan, $55 at bookstores and online (smithstreetbooks.com).[5]

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Bunny Mellon

During her lifetime, Bunny Mellon liked to fly under the radar, but since her death in 2014, she has become a style icon. Numerous illustrated books focus on her exquisite homes and gardens, but it’s this brilliant biography that digs deep into her life and recounts some of her biggest garden projects including the transformation of the White House rose garden.

Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend by Meryl Gordon, $36.50 at bookstores and online (grandcentralpublishing.com).[6]

Gardens of Style

For many great style makers in fashion and interior design, gardens are the places from which inspiration is constantly drawn – just think of Christian Dior’s floral-print frocks of the 1950s. In this book, influential figures, including former Hermès designer Nicole de Vésian and decorator Bunny Williams, open the gates of their private sanctuaries.

Gardens of Style: Private Hideaways of the Design World by Janelle McCulloch, $75 at bookstores and online (rizzoliusa.com).[7]


This classic has nothing to do with growing, but presents the magnificence of flowers as seen through the lens of fashion and still life photographer Irving Penn. Tulips and orchids are captured at their peak, while roses and poppies are snapped in states of decay. Penn transforms each bloom from miracle of nature to work of art.

Flowers by Irving Penn, $335 through BooksforQuacks on etsy.com.[8]


  1. ^ rizzoliusa.com (www.rizzoliusa.com)
  2. ^ rizzoliusa.com (www.rizzoliusa.com)
  3. ^ etsy.com (www.etsy.com)
  4. ^ milkweed.org (milkweed.org)
  5. ^ smithstreetbooks.com (www.smithstreetbooks.com)
  6. ^ grandcentralpublishing.com (www.grandcentralpublishing.com)
  7. ^ rizzoliusa.com (www.rizzoliusa.com)
  8. ^ etsy.com (www.etsy.com)