My Gardening Bookshelves

Gardener have their plants, their trusty tools and their books, a gardener must have books. It would be unusual to find one who doesn't. They are somewhere we go to in winter, when we can't get out in the garden, to gather ideas, plan our next border or to escape into those pages of colour and greenery. My gardening book collection, like all my books, started as a child, in a family of readers. There were always books about, both fiction and reference books and for me it was also escapism into happier and more exciting places. Once my interests began to evolve and shape there were history books (a lot of these), wildlife books and then gardening books and then every other subject that drew me in. At the moment in the in-between house I have three shelves and a crate of gardening books (the ones I use most). The rest are packed away.

My garden diaries from our years at Easter Mosshat on the top shelf
Most of my books have been Christmas or birthday presents: I always have an extensive list of books I'd like. I used to have the books lined up biggest to smallest, left to right, yeh a bit of OCD in there. When we moved last summer and I was re-stacking the shelves I decided to put them in subject order (loosely) but this didn't work out as easily as it may seem!

Top shelf of gardening books

The first or top shelf is mainly miscellaneous small books, some books of gardeners' memoirs and to the right all my wildlife and wild flower books, including the book I received as a prize whilst on the National Trust for Scotland Training Scheme. A prize for a written project, all those years ago! The wee set of shears are for clipping box hedges, given to me by an old gardener I used to work with in Aberdour.

The second shelf has my herb books including the Scots Herbal, an excellent book on native Scots plants and their uses. There are then a whole mixture of books that didn't fit into one subject or another, some are about specific genera, gardens in other countries through to books on specific garden areas such as greenhouses, ponds and water gardens and so on. On the right are books on garden design and garden styles. The book Waterpower third from the right is a lovely book on how to construct all types of water features, beautifully illustrated, with easy to understand blueprints.

The second shelf which looks like it's bending, oops!

I love Piet Oudolf's designs and use of plants, these are two
of my favourite books

My herb books, self sufficiency and walling books

Bottom shelf, big books, plant reference books, garden history books and more design books. I can't help but like Martyn Rix and Roger Phillips' series of books with their clear photographs on every group of plants, they are great reference books, handy for general identification and just nice to look through. 

Bottom shelf, all the big books

Garden history books

Great reference books with clear photos

Of course you have to have a Hilliers Manual of Trees and Shrubs and Graham Stuart Thomas' book on Perennial Garden Plants. This book was another prize, believe it or not, won for speechmaking! Little quiet me got up and did a talk on the history of Linlithgow and won a prize!

A must have book in a gardener's
It was my prize for speechmaking
at Threave School of Gardening

A collection of leaflets for gardens I have visited here in Britain and Europe

The ones that didn't fit on a shelf and Gardens Illustrated, the only garden
magazine I read

Lastly, my own book! Written about the garden I
worked in and did the planting designs and research
for at Annet House Museum in Linlithgow


  1. I love being nosy and looking at other people's bookshelves. Now can you find me a comfy chair and a cup of tea as there are lots of books that I would love to browse?! Xxx

    1. I am working my back through them, re reading ones I haven't in a while :)


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