3 Of My Favorite Beginner Gardening Books

A good gardening book can be a fantastic resource for any new or beginner gardener, it can also become a beloved reference for those with more experience too! I absolutely love books, my collection is large for the small house we live in, but they are worth the space they take up in my opinion. I wanted to share a few of my favorite beginner friendly garden books with you today. This is by far not an exhaustive list, but just a few of the ones I really suggest to help you on your way. I am providing links to each book from one of my favorite local book stores, Tattered Cover Book Store or the authors website. I highly encourage you to support your local book stores too.

The first book I would like to mention is “Kitchen Garden Revival” written by Nicole Johnsey Burke. This book is a fantastic resource for building your own kitchen garden. Nicole happens to be my garden coaching mentor and founder of Garden Coach Society, which I have been a member of since March 2020. This book covers everything from choosing a space, her signature soil recipe, the Arc of Seasons, plant families and the way to harvesting. I used this method when setting up my own kitchen garden space and it is a large part of what I teach through my workshops and classes as a Certified Gardenary Coach. I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s perfect for DIYers who want to figure things out on their own with the help of some guidance in book form.


“Grow What You Love” written by Emily Murphy covers “12 food plant families to change your life” Each of the 12 plant family sections will guide you on which varieties to try, sun needs, soil, etc.  I grow  or have grown all 12 plant families covered. There are chapters that cover the basics of planning your garden, soil and it’s importance, growing the food, tending the garden and finally harvesting. The pictures in this book are stunning. Emily’s story on how she came to be a garden professional is wonderful. Overall this book is a fantastic reference, a beautiful to look through and full of inspiration on why we grow what we do.

“The First Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables” written by Jessica Sowards of Roots and Refuge Farm is a fantastic reference for first time gardeners. Jessica shares and teaches in a way that makes everything seem easy to understand. She keeps it uncomplicated, so you can get growing. I have been a fan of Jess and her family for years now, she is the inspiration for the cattle panel trellises I have in my kitchen garden. She taught me, even after years of gardening, that it’s okay to do do things your own way, take chances and play in the garden. The pictures in this book are beautiful. Overall I love her philosophy around growing food.


The three books listed here are ones I always suggest to new gardeners when asked about my favorite books for beginners. What these books and authors have in common is a passion for growing food, changing the world through gardening/growing food and the get out there and grow spirit. Each has their own way of teaching and growing which isn’t surprising because there are many ways to grow food, it’s about finding what works for you. I admire all three authors, I’ve learned from and been inspired by them over the years in my own gardening journey. You can’t go wrong with any of these books. This is a very short list, I will be making a post with more gardening books that I love that cover intermediate and advanced gardening topics, so be on the look out for that when you are ready to grow more on your gardening journey! If you are looking for 1:1 help or guidance, you can book a coaching session with me to get specific guidance for your garden or you can always sign up for an upcoming seasonal workshop too! https://candicecullen.com/kitchen-garden-coaching/

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