The 10 Best Garden Planning Books of 2021

These books will help you plant your best garden ever, no matter what your goals are

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The Rundown

Best for Beginners: The Complete Gardener’s Guide

“This book is sure to help you create a great gardening space, no matter what kind of experience you have.”

Best for Kids: Gardening Lab for Kids

Gardening Lab does a great job of teaching kids along the way with worksheets, prompts, and mini lessons.”

Best for Vegetable Gardens: Veggie Garden Remix 

“This book will help you take it to the next level and grow things you never thought possible.” 

Best for Perennial Flowers: The Well-Tended Perennial Garden

“Packed with advice, this book will become a staple as you expand your garden each year.” 

Best for Xeriscape Gardens: The Water-Saving Garden

“Whether you live in areas with frequent droughts or you’re just trying to conserve water overall, you’ll be able to immediately implement the best xeriscaping practices and ideas.” 

Best Garden Planning Journal: My Gardening Journal

“This journal is a great way to learn about what works from one year to the next as you keep improving your approach to have a great garden.”

Best for Small Spaces: Field Guide to Urban Gardening

“It really doesn’t matter how small your space – you will find solutions for your specific needs in this book.” 

Best for Gardening for Bees: 100 Plants to Feed the Bees

“This book is a great way to get plants that you know will help the bee population while supporting a nonprofit at the same time.” 

Best for Indoor Gardens: How to Not Kill Your Houseplant

“Not killing your houseplants is an admirable goal, and this book will help you succeed.” 

Best for Succulents: Essential Succulents

“Succulents seem so mysterious and attractive, but they’re actually not that difficult to master with just a little bit of guidance.” 

Gardening books are fantastic resources for aspiring gardeners. They offer inspiration, advice, and knowledge from experienced growers who really know their subject matter. You just can’t get that same type of in-depth information from reading a quick online article or social post. So how do you find the best garden planning books out there?  

Whether you’re looking to grow flowers, veggies, or plants for bees, there’s a book for you on this list. Plus, you can feel good knowing they’ve been vetted to really feature the best of the best. I’ve actually written a few gardening books, and I can promise you that the authors of these books have been very thoughtful in choosing what goes into them. They want you to be successful, no matter what type of space you have. So get ready to be inspired.

Here are some of the best gardening books out there:

Best for Beginners: The Complete Gardener’s Guide 

The Complete Gardener's Guide: The One-Stop Guide to Plan, Sow, Plant, and Grow Your Garden

Courtesy of Walmart

The second half of this book’s title sums it up best: The One-Stop Guide to Plan, Sow, Plant, and Grow Your Garden. With more than 400 pages, you can be rest assured that it tackles a wide range of topics. You’ll get planting guides and suggestions, easy step-by-step instructions for DIY projects, and solutions for common challenges like protecting your space from pests.

At first, you might be a bit overwhelmed just by the sheer volume of this book, but don’t worry! Take it in a little bit at a time and really enjoy paging through and finding what inspires you. This book is sure to help you create a great gardening space, no matter what level of experience you have.

Best for Kids: Gardening for Kids: Learn, Grow, and Get Messy with Fun STEAM Projects

Gardening for Kids : Learn, Grow, and Get Messy with Fun Steam Projects

Courtesy of Walmart

Kids thrive on hands-on projects, and this book won’t disappoint. With more than 20 projects to choose from, these will naturally introduce kids to the magic of gardening. Plus, it does a great job of teaching kids along the way with worksheets, prompts, and mini lessons.

The author is an outdoor educator and has clearly put a lot of thought into each project. Gardening Lab is perfect to use in classrooms, homeschool settings, or just for curious kids—and their parents.

Best for Vegetable Gardens: Veggie Garden Remix

Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun

Courtesy of Bookshop

Nikki Jabbour is a best-selling gardening author who has been making waves in the gardening world since she first released her book, Year-Round Vegetable Garden (view on Bookshop.org). She is known for growing veggies throughout the year, even in the cold winters of Nova Scotia.

Her newest book will help you get excited about veggie gardening in a whole new way. Even if you already know how to grow your favorite tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies, this book will help you take it to the next level. Let Nikki inspire you and grow things you never thought possible in your own own porch, patio, or backyard.

Best for Perennial Flowers: The Well-Tended Perennial Garden

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden is now in its third edition for good reason — it’s filled with plant ideas and tips for growing the best perennials for your specific wants and needs. You’ll learn the basics like when to transplant, deadhead, thin, and more. The book also offers advice on growing specific cultivars, selecting natives, and planning for wildlife.

For those who like a little organization, it has a month-by-month maintenance guide to help you stay on track. This book will become a staple as you expand your garden each year.

Best for Xeriscape Gardens: The Water-Saving Garden 

The Water-Saving Garden

Courtesy of Bookshop

Pam Penick is a popular garden blogger who has been writing about xeriscaping and water conservation for many years. With this book, she gives practical advice and water-saving tips every step of the way.

Whether you live in areas with frequent droughts or you’re just trying to conserve water overall, you’ll be able to immediately implement best practices and ideas from Pam. You also get more than 100 plant suggestions to choose from, helping ensure both short-term and long-term success in your garden.

Best Garden Planning Journal: My Gardening Journal

My Gardening Journal

Courtesy of Barnes and Noble

Keep track of and celebrate all your gardening successes with this beautiful little journal. It has pages with prompts about your garden layout and what you have planned for the season. Then you’ll have lots of open pages to write about anything you want.

Use the journal to keep track of your successes (and the try-again-next-year lessons). It’s a great way to learn about what works from one year to the next as you keep improving your approach to have a great garden.

Best for Small Spaces: Field Guide to Urban Gardening 

Field Guide to Urban Gardening

Courtesy of Walmart

The author of this book, Kevin, knows what it’s like to grow in a small space. He covers so much in this book, including hydroponics, indoor edibles, and gardening on your balcony or rooftop. He’ll also tackle common gardening problems like plant disease and pests.

Whether you want to grow in containers, raised beds, or even take it vertical, Kevin will walk you through all the best ways. It really doesn’t matter how small your space is. You will find solutions for your specific needs in this book.

Best for Gardening for Bees: 100 Plants to Feed the Bees

100 Plants to Feed the Bees

Courtesy of Barnes and Noble

This book is written and produced by a nonprofit—The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. This international, science-based group is dedicated to protecting the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. In this book they select the top 100 plants for bees.

One Hundred Plants to Feed to Bees is a simple, photo-based book with plant profiles and growing information for each plant. This book is a great way to get plants that you know will help the bee population while supporting a nonprofit at the same time.

Best for Indoor Gardens: How to Not Kill Your Houseplant 

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant

Courtesy of Walmart

Not killing your houseplants is an admirable goal, and this book will help you succeed. It’s filled with information, whether you’re new to houseplants or have a dozen or more. It will teach you how to set your houseplants up for optimal success and then how to look for signs of stress before it becomes a more serious issue.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant includes more than 50 specific plant recommendations, including growing info for each one. Go ahead and make your houseplant decor dreams come true.

Best for Succulents: Essential Succulents 

Essential Succulents

Courtesy of Walmart

Succulents seem so mysterious and attractive, but they’re actually not that difficult to master with just a little bit of guidance. Once you do, you’ll be rewarded with low-maintenance plants that add character to a garden both inside and out.

This book is perfect for beginners and will guide you through choosing succulents and understanding their specific needs. Author Ken Shelf is the owner of a garden store in San Francisco and will definitely set you up for success.

Final Verdict 

For those looking for a little bit of everything, check out The Complete Gardener’s Guide (view at Bookshop.org). You’ll find plenty of tips, guidance, and advice for growing a great garden. Then if you want to maximize your space, consider the Field Guide to Urban Gardening (view at Bookshop.org). It’s also filled with scenarios and tips to meet many needs. 

Why Trust Treehugger

Treehugger wants to help you figure out how to grow the best annual, perennials, veggies, succulents, and more. The writer, Stacy Tornio, is the author of Plants You Can’t Kill and loves helping gardeners find great plants for their space. Stacy has been writing about plants for 15+ years.