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Holiday Garden Book Guide

Around the Gardens Blog

Looking for garden-themed inspiration this holiday season? Members of the Friends’ staff share top picks for gift giving (or your personal library)

Books are available through Leaf & Petal at the Gardens, where members of the Friends save 10%. Call 205.877.3030 to reserve your copies!

For Landscape Enthusiasts

Beauty of the Wild: A Life Designing Landscapes Inspired by Nature by Darrell Morrison (Library of American Landscape History, 2021)

“This book was selected by Gardens Illustrated as one of ‘The Best Gardening Books to Read in 2022.’ Author Darrel Morrison tells stories of people and places that have inspired his career as a landscape architect, educator, naturalist, writer, and designer of nature-inspired landscapes. Great information and fantastic photography.” —Hope Long Director of Library Services, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

For New Veggie Gardeners

Grow Cook Eat by Willi Galloway (Sasquatch Books,2012)

“This is a great book for those interested in starting a vegetable garden. It has beautiful pictures, excellent gardening advice, and delicious recipes to use the produce from your garden. It also has advice for harvesting and storing your produce.”—Tyler Mason, Director of Education and Visitor Experience, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

For Artistic Nature Lovers

Nature’s Palette Introduction by Patrick Baty, with contributions from Elaine Charwat, Peter Davidson, André Karliczek, and Giulia Simonini (Princeton University Press, 2021)

“I’ve been obsessed with this book. It is the perfect gift for the art and nature lover in your family that always has a name for the varying shades of colors in the world. It will provide them artistic inspiration year-round as the seasons change around them because of its seasonless references.”—Dawn Coleman Lee, Education Activities Specialist, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

For Thoughtful Gardeners

The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature by Sue Stuart-Smith (Scribner, 2020)

“I often find myself poring over how-to gardening books, trying to find that next new idea or trick to try in the garden. But these pages drew me in as Sue thoughtfully unearths how gardening cultivates not only the soil around us, but heals our own minds and hearts. This book is the perfect read to lift our gaze from how we garden and instead remember why we garden with hope, season after season.”—Molly Hendry, Associate Director of Gardens Support—Horticulture Planning and Design Leader

For Garden Lovers in the Making

Badger’s Perfect Garden by Marsha Diane Arnold, Illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki (Sleeping Bear Press, 2019)

“Badger’s Perfect Garden is a delightful, surprising story to enjoy reading with children. Its warm, bright illustrations combined with lessons of gardening and life complement each other to make this a welcome addition to your library.” —Ellen Hardy, Education Program Coordinator

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