Garden books to help you grow

Garden books to help you grow

Here is our list of gardening books we promised to share in our recent blog, “How to garden in February".  These are some of our favourites for families.  You might find some of these books in your community or school library.  If not, ask if they can order a few of them.  

Picture books for very young children (and adults who love picture books)

  • Growing vegetable soup, by Lois Ehlert.  Bright colours, large print, and a simple story make this book a favourite for very young children (and their parents!). 
  • Maisy grows a garden, by Lucy Cousins.  Help Maisy, the mouse,  grow her garden by pulling the tabs in this bright book.  Colourful, labelled drawings teach the words to go with the basics steps of growing a garden.
  • Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth, by Mary Siddals.  Learn what goes into compost with this alphabet book of rhyming text and collage illustrations showing kids making compost.

Books for elementary to middle grades (fiction picture books with more text, and  a range of reading levels)

  • One Bean, by Anne Rockwell.   A young boy tells how he plants a bean seed, tends it, watches it grow, and eats the harvest.  Colourful illustrations and simple text. 
  • Sylvia’s spinach, by Katherine Pryor.  Sylvia hates spinach.  When her teacher gives her spinach seeds to plant in the school garden Sylvia discovers the magic of growing her own food and trying something new.
  • Yucky worms, by Vivian French.  While helping his grandma in her garden, a boy learns about worms and how they help plants grow.  A combination of story and science facts, with detailed and humourous illustrations (and “talking” worms).

“How-to” books for middle-level readers, or reference for teachers and parents
Both of these well-illustrated books include basic instructions and tips for growing a garden, and ideas for garden-related projects.

  • Ready Set  Grow!, by DK Books
  • Grow your own for kids, by Chris Collins and Lea Leendertz

Non-fiction books for adults working with children and/or school gardens

  • The book of gardening projects for kids: 101 ways to get kids outside, dirty, and having fun, by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher
  • How to grow a school garden: A complete guide for parents and teachers, by Aeden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Pringle

Gardening instruction books for adults

  • Starting seeds, by Barbara Ellis.  Northern gardeners get a head-start on spring by starting many plants indoors before the snow has gone.  This book will get both you and the seeds started.
  • All New Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew.  All you need to know to grow more in less space using the square foot gardening method. 

What are your favourite books on gardening?  Let us know and we’ll add them to our list.

-- Marianne Bromley

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