If your favorite gardener person is tidying up their garden for winter, it’s likely they are feeling a little down. To put it bluntly, winter is not always the favorite season for garden lovers. To keep them blooming these colder months, they could use an excellent book to transport them into picturesque landscapes of lavender fields, Victorian flower gardens, and all things green. Here are seven of the best fiction books for garden lovers:
This classic tale of a young girl who discovers a secret garden is beloved by gardeners of all ages. If your garden lover hasn’t read it yet, this winter is the perfect time to pick up this timeless classic. The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox, a horrid child who is sent to live with her hunchback uncle in Yorkshire after her parents die. At first, Mary hates it there and does nothing but complain. But one day, she discovers a secret garden that has been locked away for years. With the help of her new friends Dickon and Colin, Mary brings the garden back to life and learns to enjoy life for the first time. The story is full of descriptions of the beautiful flowers and plants that grow in the secret garden. Just enough to keep our garden wonders alive and well until spring.
What I liked most about this book was the combination of cooking and gardening. This novel follows the story of Claire Waverley, a woman who uses ingredients from her garden to cook food with magical properties for her catering business. As a gardener, I related to the descriptions of growing and harvesting different plants. The author’s love for gardening is evident in her attention to detail, making the whole novel feel immersive and realistic. I also enjoyed the characters in this book, particularly Evanelle who leaves unexpected gifts that always end up having a purpose. There is plenty of family drama and emotional healing throughout the story, making it an enjoyable read overall. Highly recommend it for gardeners or anyone who enjoys magical realism with a touch of romance
Here is another classic sure to please any gardener. The story follows the life of Bert Pinnegar, from his days as a schoolboy picking wildflowers to his tenure as the head gardener at the Manor. Along the way, Pinnegar acquires gardening wisdom that is sure to be appreciated by anyone who loves earth and gardens. The writing is rich with descriptions of the different plants and flowers in Pinnegar’s garden, making it easy for readers to imagine themselves in his beautiful English countryside. The characters are endearing and lovingly portrayed, particularly the crotchety but lovable Old Herbaceous himself. The first edition of this book was published in 1950. This new edition includes an introduction by Penelope Hobhouse, a renowned garden designer, and lecturer.
As a gardener, I was immediately drawn to this book by the title. I was not disappointed. The Language of Flowers is a beautifully written novel about a foster child, Victoria, who uses flowers to communicate. Victoria has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. It taught me a lot about the Victorian language of flowers and how they can be used to communicate thoughts and feelings. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading inspiring novels about overcoming adversity.
This historical fiction novel tells the story of five women living across three different time periods (1907, 1944 and 2021), all of whom are connected by one very special garden. Each generation of women faced different challenges in their lives, but they all found strength in their passion for gardening. Whether it was fighting for their right to garden in the face of opposition, or rebuilding the gardens after they were destroyed during World War II, these women never gave up on their dreams. The story is rich with historical detail and is full of beautiful descriptions of the garden and their evolution over time. While I found myself occasionally lost in all the names of plants, I appreciated the author’s attention to detail in creating these beautiful spaces. It will leave your favorite gardener eager to reinvent their own garden spaces. Another great garden task for this winter season.
If you’re green-thumb partner is more into light and fun reading, Christy Wilhelmi’s Garden Variety is perfect. The book is set in a community garden in Los Angeles and follows the various characters as they deal with the challenges of life and gardening. There’s plenty of garden talk, from discussions of veggies to soil pH to heirloom varieties and composting, and it’s all fascinating. But the heart of the story is really about the relationships and drama within the community garden, showing how a group of diverse individuals can come together to overcome challenges and save their little slice of paradise. As a bonus, there is a map of the garden that shows where each of the character’s plots is, as well as the compost piles (so important).
Poetry and gardening go together like peas and carrots. In fact, they’re the perfect wintertime pairing! While your gardener is dreaming of warmer days ahead, a poem about gardens is the perfect way to give them a green thumb fix. This hardcover book is filled with dozens of poems handpicked by the editors, celebrating everything from the sights and smells of the garden to the joys of springtime. There are poems by well-known authors like Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Sarojini Naidu, as well as lesser-known poets, making for a varied and interesting read.
Keep garden dreams alive this winter!
Winter is certainly the time to dream, plan and prepare for next year’s garden, and reading is a great way to stay grounded and reimagine your green space ahead of spring. When the snow starts to fall, there’s nothing cozier than spending an afternoon indoors with a good book, especially if you’re a gardener. These seven fiction books are perfect for any gardener who might start to feel the chill and wants to keep their head in full bloom until spring. Whether your garden lover is looking for something light-hearted or more serious, there’s sure to be something on this list that will strike their garden fancy.