Top 10 Books for Gardeners

Garden problem solving and planning books (Photo by Fort Collins Nursery)

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By Shannon Moreau | Fort Collins Nursery


When it’s cold out and I cannot plant just yet, I enjoy finding a good plant-oriented book to teach me something new and get me even more excited for the growing season. I’ve combined a list of my favorite books for problem-solving and planning, for inspiration in the garden, and for a deeper dive into the lives and history of plants we love. Each of these books has helped me immensely and I hope you find a new one to add to your bookshelf or reading list! 


“Housplant Expert” by D.G. Hessayon

Useful for plant identification and diagnosing potential pests and pathogens, plus plenty of helpful information about caring for and selecting locations for houseplants.


“The Pruning Answer Book” by Lewis Hill & Penelope O’Sullivan

This helpful guide is organized by topics in the form of Q&A, making it easy to gather information. It also includes illustrations of pruning systems, making the actual job a breeze. 


“The Xerces Society Guide to Attracting Native Pollinators”

This an ideal guide to planning your gardens for native pollinators along with tools for bee identification. Includes region-specific plant lists that are helpful for both new and seasoned gardeners.


“Pretty Tough Plants” by The Experts at Plant Select

An absolute must-have for gardeners new to the area or anyone interested in dependable, water-wise plants. Each page is adorned with beautiful photos along with plant information from the Plant Select program. 


“The American Meadow Garden” by John Greenlee

Each page is filled with gorgeous grassland-inspired gardens and instructions on how to best achieve your own American meadow garden. Greenlee demonstrates the versatility of grasses outside of the traditional perennial border. 


“Under Western Skies” by Jennifer Jewell

From modern plantings to cottage meadows to cactus gardens, the innovative and beautiful designs included in this book are an ideal source of garden inspiration. 


“The Undaunted Garden” by Lauren Springer Ogden

A local favorite by a local author! Plain and simple, if you haven’t had a chance to look through Lauren’s book, do yourself a favor and snag a copy. While you’re at it swing by the Gardens on Spring Creek and see the Undaunted Garden that Lauren designed. 


“Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben

A fascinating dive into the silent and secret lives that our woody friends lead. Through the lens of family, we can gain insight into how the world grows around us. 


“Tasting the Past” by Kevin Begos

We follow Begos on his journey through the fascinating world of forgotten wines and the history of viticulture. Complete with tasting notes at the end of each chapter of wines from the different regions he visits. 


“Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan

Both funny and educational, Michael Pollan does an excellent job of weaving this tale about the history of a few familiar plants and their impacts on our world.