Best gardening books for beginners

If you are thinking of taking up gardening - we've got the best books to get you started.

Books on gardening

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Gardening, for many, is the perfect way to unwind - and the best gardening books for beginners could be the very thing a green thumb in your life is looking for. While some are innately gifted with the ability to nurture life from the soil - we can learn a lot from nature and gardening. Gardening is a therapeutic activity that can bring a sense of calm and fulfilment and offers us a serene project to counteract the hectic pace of modern life.

More than just a hobby, gardening allows you to reap tangible rewards, too. You can grow various herbs, vegetables, and fruits from your own plot or allotment. These home-grown products not only taste better, but they also offer a healthier, pesticide-free alternative to store-bought produce too. From container gardening to expansive plots, there are many ways to start gardening. If you live somewhere a little more urban, there are also books that offer balcony garden ideas that could help you transform even the smallest spaces into a lush oasis teeming with life.

Best gardening books for beginners at a glance:

Best overall: RHS - How To Garden When You're New To Gardening - view on Amazon
• Best gardening book for smaller spaces: Small Garden: Design your garden with this gardening book for beginners - view on Amazon 
• Best beginner's book for container gardening: Container Gardening for Beginners: - view on Amazon

Although stepping into the world of gardening can feel intimidating- and while there is so much knowledge to grasp and techniques to master, books can be a wonderful tool to start you on your way. Whether you're planning to cultivate the best herb garden or perhaps you are looking to design a beautiful section of bedding plants, a comprehensive gardening guide can solve your horticultural needs.

For those eager to plunge their hands into the soil, here are our favourite gardening books for beginners. These resources provide the necessary tools to transform even the most inexperienced enthusiast into a confident gardener. It’s the perfect way to start your journey, cultivating your outdoor space into a thriving haven teeming with life. So without further ado, here are our top picks.

Best gardening book for beginners

Best gardening book for beginners


Rrp: $27.99

Price: $19.99

How To Garden When You're New To Gardening is an all-encompassing guide for the new gardener. This book, curated by experts from the Royal Horticultural Society, walks you through the entire process of cultivating a year-round garden. It's filled with basic, easy-to-understand tips, detailed steps, and expert advice, presenting you with simple, do-it-yourself ideas that can transform your outdoor space into a blooming oasis.

Customer review: "Bought this book for my daughter as she started getting into gardening last year. She loves it and finds it very helpful."


  • Good basic tips
  • Curated by the experts from the Royal Horticultural Society


  • May be too simple for some

Best gardening book on the benefits of gardening

Gardening For Complete Beginners
Price: $14.97

This book is more than just a beginner's guide. It's an invitation to the world of modern gardening, a therapeutic and environment-friendly activity that enhances your overall well-being. The book offers comprehensive information about the history of gardening, presenting trivia that seasoned gardeners and newcomers alike would find interesting. It addresses various types of gardens, the concept of urban gardening, and the huge benefits they offer too.

Customer review: "When you think of gardening - you might be surprised at the variety of types of gardening there are. And once you begin researching on your own, it might be a bit overwhelming. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of gardening whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural environment."


  • Available on audio, Kindle and paperback
  • Covers all bases


  • May be information overload for a newbie

Best gardening book for indoor plants

How to not kill your house plants

Rrp: $14.99

Price: $13.96

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged is a lifesaver for those starting their journey into indoor gardening. It offers easy advice and survival tips that will ensure your indoor plants thrive. Plus, this beginner's guide walks you through the basics of plant identification and care. With these helpful tips, you'll soon transform your home into a lush indoor garden, flourishing with healthy, happy plants.

Customer review: "I purchased this for my partner and he loved it. It has everything any beginner would need to know for taking care of houseplants."


  • Easy to follow
  • Focus on indoor gardening for those with no garden
  • Basics of houseplant care


  • Very short

Best gardening book for vegetables

Veg garden book

Rrp: $16.99

Price: $10.63
Alternative retailers
Target$10.89View offer

If you are looking for a book that is a straightforward guide which teaches gardening beginners through the process of building the ideal foundation for a vegetable garden - then Vegetable Gardening for Beginners by Jill McSheeb would be a great place to start. The book provides advice on how to choose the perfect plants and how to nurture a budding garden. It demystifies the process, illustrating how easy it can be to create a thriving vegetable plot right in your back garden.

Customer review: "Really interesting little book, well written and nice illustrations too. A good introduction to vegetable growing, without the use of harsh chemicals or elaborate equipment."


  • Clearly presented
  • Simple guidance
  • Nice illustrations


  • Very basic
  • American focused

Best beginners book for container gardening

We love this comprehensive guide to growing your own food in a limited space. It leads you through the process of choosing suitable containers for your plants, from planting to harvesting. This book demystifies the process and provides all the information needed to start growing your own food and plants in containers.

Customer Review: "I absolutely loved this book! As a long-time dweller in top-floor apartments, I have to make the most of the space available and this book gave me loads of tips to do just that. It's incredibly comprehensive, well researched and referenced, leaving me in no doubt that I can act on the advice with confidence. From soil type to container type, this book is full of advice specific to the type of plants you want to grow. Flowers, herbs, fruit or vegetables, it's got you covered."


  • Easy step-by-step help
  • Kindle, hardcover and paperback


  • May be too technical for some readers

Best gardening book for smaller spaces

Small Garden Beginner’s guide to designing
Price: $22.97

Small Garden: Design your garden with this gardening book for beginners is a concise, no-nonsense book by expert gardener Joe Swift, designed especially for those with limited outdoor space. From courtyards to rooftops, this book provides multiple ideas to help transform even the most uninviting spaces into beautiful green sanctuaries. Swift covers an extensive array of innovative ways to incorporate your personality into your outdoor area, creating a unique space you can call your own.

Customer review: "It's a small book but really does pack in a lot of the basics with good advice and planting guidance.
It has all the basic but important stuff in there -boundaries, diagonals, path shapes but also includes often overlooked subjects like front gardens."


  • Easy to understand
  • Good tips and ideas


  • Needs more images

Best gardening book for raised bed gardens

Raised bed
Price: $14.99

The book Raised Bed and Container Gardening by Emma Andrews is a valuable resource for those wanting to maximize limited space and want to turn a balcony or small plot into a budding garden. Andrews' book breaks down the process into nine manageable steps, enabling you to master your first gardening experience. It features DIY designs and provides expert advice on essential topics such as irrigation and fertilisation. It gives you the tools and knowledge needed to cultivate a successful garden, even in the most compact of spaces.

Customer review: "I'm a complete beginner who just bought a home with a garden. I'm definitely learning as I go. This book was perfect for my needs. I wanted raised beds at the back of the garden but really didn't know where to begin. Using the advice, we have now built the beds and just waiting to fill them with plants ready to eat next summer."


  • Step-by-steps
  • Useful glossary


  • Aimed at the American market

Best beginners gardening book for flowers

Flower Gardening

Rrp: $15.99

Price: $11.60
Alternative retailers
Target$11.69View offer

The Flower Gardening for Beginners book by Amy Barene empowers beginners with the knowledge and confidence to grow and arrange their own beautiful flowers. The book provides clear instructions on planning, cultivating, tending, harvesting, and arranging home-grown flowers. Regardless of your gardening experience, this guide will help you create a beautiful floral paradise that will bring natural beauty to your outdoor space.

Customer Review: "What an incredibly informative book. The book is packed with helpful tips and tricks to have a successful flower garden. One of my favourite parts of the book is the plant profiles. I love the access to quick information on the plants that I’m growing in my garden. This was an outstanding read and would highly recommend to anyone planning to grow flowers."


  • Informative guide
  • Specific details on flowers
  • Interesting section on plant profiles


  • Tailored for a US audience

Best beginner’s book for herbal healing

Art of herbal healing
Price: $20.24

If you are into natural health and herbs, then you will love The Art of Herbal Healing: Herbalism for Beginners by Ava Green offers a unique journey into the world of natural remedies. Ava Green, an expert herbalist, teaches you about herbs, herbal remedies, the practice of herbalism, and more. The book even offers guidance on cultivating healing herbs in your own garden, making it an extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in natural health and well-being.

Customer review: "A beautiful and useful reference book. I found tremendous value in the guidance, and the formatting and illustrations are stunning. Can't fault it, really."


  • Easy to read
  • An informative book on herbalism
  • Great for natural health remedies


  • Needs more images

Best children’s gardening book for beginners

Gardening for beginners kids
Price: $20.49

Usborne's Gardening for Beginners introduces children to the exciting world of gardening. With this interactive guide, they will learn how to grow their own fruit and vegetables, even if a garden is not available. The book is packed with hints, tips, and ideas, sparking children's curiosity and encouraging them to interact with nature.

Customer Review: "Absolutely love this book. Easy to understand and flows well. Simple diagrams and instructions to follow with a good selection of ideas for growing."


  • No garden required
  • Lots of hints, tips and ideas
  • Nice introduction to gardening and nature for young green thumbs


  • Best for an older child

Best gardening books for beginners FAQs

What makes a gardening book suitable for beginners?

A beginner's gardening book should explain the basics of gardening in a simple, easy-to-understand format. It should cover foundational topics like understanding soil, choosing plants suitable for your climate and space, watering, pruning, and dealing with pests as well as clear imagery so you have a guide on what to expect.

How to start gardening?

The best way to start a garden is to decide what type of garden you want (vegetables, flowers, herbs) and then research the specific needs of those plants. Consider your climate and the sunlight exposure in your garden. It would be good to start off with easy-to-grow plants like tomatoes, lettuce, or daffodils - to get you into growing.

Besançon / France / Hands of a woman in the middle of green plants, harvesting beans.

How often should I water my garden?

This really depends on the type of plants you have, the climate, and the season. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to water your garden when the top inch of soil is dry. Most plants prefer deep, infrequent watering to shallow, frequent watering because it encourages better root growth.

What are the best bedding plants for beginners?

Some of the best bedding plants for beginners include marigolds, petunias, pansies, and begonias. These plants are easy to grow, require minimal maintenance, and offer vibrant colours that can liven up your garden

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, specialising in natural health and beauty. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.



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