13 Books About Gardening for the Whole Family | Summer Reading 2021

These 13 books for children and adults are packed with gardening inspiration, as well as activities and information to help anyone interested in growing their own plants. 

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These books for children and adults are packed with gardening inspiration, as well as activities and information to help anyone interested in growing their own plants. 


Read Aloud

Guinea Pigs Go Gardening by DK. illus. by Kate Sheehy. DK Publishing. ISBN 9780744026627.

Bob and Ginger are guinea pigs and expert gardeners who cheerfully provide advice as they face the unexpected in their own garden. Sheehy illustrates the entire process of creating a garden, including how to mulch, compost, grid areas, irrigate, and harvest at different types of year.

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines. illus. by Julianna Swaney. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 9781400314225.

 In this book about learning from failure, one family discovers what it takes to care for many kinds of plants. Readers will learn a great deal about gardens, from seeds to pollinators to soil dwellers.

Thank You, Garden by Liz Garton Scanlon. illus. by Simone Shin. S. & S./Beach Lane. ISBN 9781481403504.

This delightful story about multiracial group of neighbors planting and enjoying a community garden is a perfect way to usher in the spring gardening season.

In a Garden by Tim McCanna. illus. by Aimée Sicuro. Paula Wiseman Bks. ISBN 9781534417977.

Each scene in this book allows the reader to find plants, animals, and insects living together harmoniously through passing seasons.

That’s My Carrot by Il Sung Na. illus. by author. Knopf.  ISBN 9780399551581.

In a tale of a classic neighborly feud, Na introduces two gardening rabbits with differing philosophies on growing carrots. The bespectacled yellow rabbit uses scientific methods while the bow-tied purple rabbit plays music to its plants. 


The Ultimate Guide to Gardening: Grow Your Own Indoor, Vegetable, Fairy, and Other Great Gardens by Lisa J. Amstutz. Capstone. ISBN 9781623706494.

Children and parents will learn about a variety of gardening styles with this charming DIY guide. The book opens with some general tips about gardening and plant care and then presents ideas for growing edible, indoor, creative, and enchanted gardens.

Plant, Cook, Eat!: A Children’s Cookbook by Joe Archer & Caroline Craig. Charlesbridge. ISBN 9781580898171.

This colorful instructional guide to planting and cooking vegetables offers a wide range of healthy recipes and gardening tips for kids. The opening pages detail what plants need to grow, how seeds germinate, how to sow seeds indoors and compost, and other related topics.

Plant, Sow, Make & Grow: Mud-tastic Activities for Budding Gardeners by Esther Coombs. illus. by author. Button. ISBN 9781787080256.

Featuring bright and detailed illustrations, this activity book takes a wide range of gardening topics and divides them into manageable sections. In-depth instructions for planting are separated by seasons, intermingled with art projects and science experiments for kids of all ages. 

Dig In!: 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps by Kari Cornell. photos by Jennifer S. Larson. Millbrook. ISBN 9781512430653.

This is a beautiful book for beginning gardeners that encourages the use of kitchen scraps and cuttings. The title is filled with projects to grow sweet potatoes, lettuce, garlic, and many vegetables and herbs.

For Adults

Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots: Planting Advice & Recipes from Great Dixter by Aaron Bertelsen. Phaidon. ISBN 9780714878614.

The book’s goal is to inspire readers to enjoy benefits of fresh, homegrown fruit and vegetables, regardless of space constraints, and with the least amount of labor and upkeep.

The Little Gardener: Helping Children Connect with the Natural World by Julie Cerny. Princeton Architectural. ISBN 9781616898601.

Cerny captures the child’s imagination by asking them to envision their dream garden, then turns their visions into reality by setting goals for its creation.

The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables by Lorene Edwards Forkner. Timber Pr. ISBN 9781643260853.

The past year saw a boom in amateur gardening, as people stuck at home sought to save money, compensate for food shortages, and relieve stress. The latest title from Forkner offers these new gardeners practical advice and encouragement in a friendly, unpretentious tone.

Never Put a Cactus in the Bathroom: A Room-by-Room Guide to Styling and Caring for Your Houseplants by Emily L. Hay Hinsdale. illus. by Loni Harris. Tiller Pr. ISBN 9781982165833.

After a quick introduction to the world of domestic greenery, Hinsdale guides readers through the home room by room, discussing which houseplants work best in each location, and their botanical needs in terms of light, water, and earth (size does matter when it comes to potting a plant). 

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