2023 Holiday Picks - Gardening



Botanic Gardens of the World: The Story of Science, Horticulture, and Discovery in 40 Gardens by Deborah Trentham. Designed as spaces of study and research, botanic gardens are where the lavish beauty of the natural world collides with cutting-edge scientific developments. From the Renaissance gardens of Italy to the futuristic Singapore Botanic Gardens, this gorgeous book highlights these unique institutions. It is a history of science and learning, of politics and national interests, of societal concerns and individual passions. But, most of all, it is a compelling history of the power and possibility of the natural world.

Garden: Exploring the Horticultural World. A richly illustrated survey celebrating humankind's enduring relationship with the garden, explored throughout art, science, history, and culture. Garden takes readers on a journey across continents and cultures to discover the endless ways artists and image-makers have found inspiration in gardens and horticulture throughout history. With more than 300 entries, this comprehensive and stunning visual survey showcases the diversity of the garden from all over the world - from the garden of Eden and the grandeur of the English landscape garden to Japanese Zen gardens and the humble vegetable plot.

Gardening Can Be Murder: How Poisonous Poppies, Sinister Shovels, and Grim Gardens Have Inspired Mystery Writers by Marta McDowell. Plants, borders, and various horticultural paraphernalia make surprisingly frequent appearances in mystery plots. In this wide-ranging survey of classic and contemporary murder fiction, Marta looks at the detectives, motives, methods, opportunities, and writers that have used the garden as their point of departure. The result is a diverting and eye-opening study that deepens our appreciation of the great crime fiction writers while illuminating the close link between murder mysteries and the world of gardening.

Our Little Farm: Adventures in Sustainable Living  by Peter & Miriam Wohlleben. From the author of The Hidden Life of Trees, and his wife, Miriam, comes an inspired, practical memoir of creating a sustainable homestead amongst the trees. Peter and Miriam moved from the city to a remote forest lodge in the early nineties. There they learned how to plant and rotate crops, harvest and preserve nature's bounty, and tend to the unique needs of their animals and environment. Along the way, they made mistakes and abandoned some projects (sheep raising was not their thing) but maintained a sense of joy throughout. 

Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden by Camille T. Dungy. Poet and activist Dungy recounts the seven-year odyssey to diversify her garden in the predominantly white community of Fort Collins, Colorado. When she moved there in 2013, there were restrictions about what residents could and could not plant in their gardens. Resisting the policies, Dungy employed the various plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers she grows in her garden as metaphor for how homogeneity threatens the future of our planet.

The Story of Flowers and How They Changed the Way We Live by Noel Kingsbury, illustrated by Charlotte Day. Flowers are full of symbolic meaning: violets represent modesty, daisies purity and daffodils unrequited love. And they have always played an important role in culture through myths and legends, literature and the decorative arts. This new book brings together 100 of the world's flowers to tell their remarkable stories. Each flower is illustrated in color with facts about each species and the role it has played in our culture and history.

The Writer's Garden: How Gardens Inspired the World's Great Authors by Jackie Bennett, photography by Richard Hanson. Discover the flower gardens, vegetable plots, landscapes and writing hideaways of 30 great authors – from Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Orchard House’ where she wrote Little Women and Agatha Christie at Greenway, to Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House and the Massachusetts home of Edith Wharton.