Garden Bloggers' Book Club - Still Time to Send Your List

I’ve received a few more book lists over the weekend for the Garden Bloggers Book Club. I’ll be posting a consolidated list of all the choices in a week or so, asking for some assistance to choose some for our winter reading pleasure. So there is still plenty of time to send me a comment with your list, or post your list on your blog and send me a comment and I’ll come visit your blog, leave a comment, and copy your list.

And while I was thinking about what books we might read, and how to make choices so that anyone who wants to participate can find the book at either a library or at a discount price, I wondered if we could find an out of print book on Google Books that offers a full view, that would be an interesting read? If anyone has some time to do some looking around on that site…

Anyway, we are officially an international club with gardeners commenting from Mexico, England and also Milan, Italy, amongst other places. Sue in Milan, Italy provided this list:

Michael Pollan - The Botany of Desire : A Plant’s Eye View of the World, Bloomsbury Publishing
Christoper Lloyd and Graham Rice - Garden Flowers from Seed, Penguin (UK) Timber Press (USA)
Alan Titchmarsh – The Gardener’s Year, BBC Books (or anything else by Alan Titchmarsh, come to that).
Charles Chesshire- Japanese Gardening, Aquamarine
Steven B Carroll - Ecology for Gardeners, Timber Press - this is available for limited preview on Google.

And M Sinclair Stevens from Texas provided these suggestions and insights on some books.
(Re: a book suggested by Earth Girl that we have a description of but not the title, she asks) “does Earth Girl mean "Elizabeth and her German Garden" by Elizabeth Von Arnim? It was published in 1898, and so is Victorian, not Elizabethan. Maybe the author's name confused her.”

Here are M's other comments/suggestions:
“I just reread "Tottering in My Garden" by Midge Ellis Keeble and enjoyed it even more the second time than the first. Eventually I'll get around to writing a review of it on my blog

One of the funniest books and most observant books I've ever read about gardening is Karel Capek's "The Gardener's Year".

And I never tire of reading Antonia Ridge's "For Love of a Rose" about the 3 generations of rose growers who formed the Meilland family and developed the 'Peace' rose.

I would second anything by Henry Mitchell and add anything by Allen Lacy or Elizabeth Lawrence. I also second Margery Fish's "We Made A Garden", Celia Thaxter's "An Island Garden" and "Mrs. Whaley and her Charleston Garden".”

I think it is becoming clear that we’ll need to include a book by Henry Mitchell. The question is which one should we include? Discuss and let me know!


  1. That's the book! Thank you and I add it to my suggested list.

  2. And "Elizabeth and Her German Garden" appears to be on Google Books, with a full view.

  3. We went to a Book Fair last week and my husband found 34 back issues of Alan Titchmarsh's "Gardeners' World" magazine. We loved his gardening shows when we were in England in 1993, and also have several videos of English gardens with Alan's commentary.

    I must make a note of the books in your list.

  4. Please count me in! I read garden books as I find them, but they can be difficult to find in the first place.

    My list is mostly books I've read.

    Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire (currently in the middle of it)

    Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma (haven't read yet)

    Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener's Education. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

    Sara Stein, Noah's Garden. The book that's had the most influence on my garden choices - ever.

    Karl Capek, The Gardener's Year. Hiliarious.

    Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman. Currently in the middle of this, my first Mitchell book - would love to read more by Mitchell.

    Eleanor Perenyi, Green Thoughts. Nicely written.

    Katharine White, Onward and Upward in the Garden. A wonderful writer with lots of opinions. A bit heavy on the catalog reviews. (The book is a collection of her essays from The New Yorker magazine in the late 50's and 60's, so some things are dated.)

    Emily Wilson, Two Gardeners: Katharine White and Elizabeth Lawrence. I'd like to read this - a collection of letters.

    Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd: A Year at North Hill. I'd like to read this - heard good things.

    In the end - reading anything about gardening is a good thing in the middle of winter!

  5. I am watching your book list with interest.I have a few books, but as not as many as other people.I want to review the books you list and add a review.Im still searching my books for a list...

  6. It's interesting to see who likes the "working gardener" books and who enjoys the inspirational ones. Depends on my mood, what will catch my fancy at any given time. I have Elizabeth and Her German garden, Karl Chapek's "A Gardener's Year", several Beverly Nichols, for the rainy afternoon, tea and a good read to pass the time away, along with a plethora of reference books that I cannot do without. At the bottom line is finding time to read them. Sleeping with a book under my pillow doesn't mean I'll wake up with the information magically acquired.

    There's A Meme of Garden Books on my web site, which is

    Happy gardening from Judy, the gardener at BelleWood Gardens.

  7. Tracy, thanks for the great list!
    Judy, I was thinking the same thing. Some books are about gardeners and their gardens, other books give us information on plants, etc. Some books do both. We'll choose a mix of books so hopefully there is something for everyone.

  8. Man... now I'm really feeling terrible that I've never read Henry Mitchell. Sort of like the guilt that's often attached when you have to admit, "Well, I didn't really find time to shower today..." :-P

  9. I just posted at my blog that I'm joining, but I'll refrain from adding to your already long list of choices. This should be fun. By the way, Judy, I do most of my reading these days while pedaling on a stationary bike. It's about the only way I can make myself do non-gardening exercise!

  10. Like Kathy, I hope to read whatever you guys decide on, but most of my favorites, like Mrs Whaley, Eleanor Perenyi and the Henry Mitchell books have been mentioned already.

    Kim, don't think of Henry as a 'should' kind of guy ... I've been known to use him as a reward, telling myself things like, "now just get a couple more loads of clothes done and you can reread 4 chapters of Earthman".

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  11. Annie... would you be willing to suggest which Henry Mitchell book?

  12. The best gardening book written in the past 25 years is how Kim Pogorny at the Oregonian describes "Teaming With Microbes: A Gardener's Guide To The Soil Food Web." She is absolutely correct. This is a must read for all gardeners. Absolutely top notch

  13. I can think of only one book to suggest that has not been mentioned yet: Homestead Year by Judith Moffett. The book chronicles her year devoted to creating a sustainable garden on a one-acre plot in suburban Pennsylvania. She describes her adventures with organic gardening, bee-keeping, creating and maintaining a fish-stocked pond, raising ducklings (yes, she does slaughter a few to eat) and more. I liked the honesty of the book. Moffett doesn't flinch in describing the tasks that at times seem overwhelming or relentless and she details a series of successes and failures throughout the year. Given the growing interest in sustainable gardening (as opposed to just organic gardening), I think this book has a lot to offer.

  14. Many excellent books suggested from which to choose.
    Coming from a habitat mentality
    how about considering
    'Noah's Garden'
    Sara B Stein
    'The Forgotten pollinators' Stephen Buchmann
    'Tracking the Vanishing Frogs'
    Kathern Phillips
    'Silent Spring'
    Rachel Carson


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