Favorite Garden and Flower Based Novels (so far!)
Garden gurus, vegetable plot addicts and flower fanatics all can attest that there aren’t actually that many books about gardens out there. Edit: Novels about gardening in some respect is more of what I mean. If you search the lists on goodreads you will find “novels set in gardens” and similar style books, but not that many that really are about the actual goodness of planting things. Is gardening just not cool enough in the United States? It certainly is within the UK and parts of Europe, so it’s funny there aren’t more novels from British or European authors on the subject.
I’ve made a list of a few that I have read and can attest are definitely about gardens. Of course there are a few more to add to the list like classics ie: The Secret Garden, but I thought I’d start to collect some thoughts about a topic that I love to read about.
My favorite garden novels list:
The Garden of Small Beginnings: This is a cute book on a scale of 1 to 10 of whether the author had ever gardened, 1 being definitely not and 10 being they are clearly a savvy gardener, I’d give this a 4. Most likely this person has bought tomato plants and put them in their backyard. But that’s about it. This book is more about how gardens and garden communities really help heal, a general theme in most garden novels.
The Forbidden Garden: This book is a sort of sequel - but not 100% necessary to read the first book. Again, super chic lit here, but fun to look up the different flowers and plants mentioned in the garden and the London Physic garden which they visit. I am definitely adding the other books by this author to my cart to read in the future!
The Language of Flowers: This book isn’t about gardening, but about flowers their names and all of the different varieties. Absolutely on the top of gorgeous flower themed novels out there. Keep your phone or internet access nearby while reading this so you can look up the flowers as they are mentioned!
The Signature of All Things: Probably the most fascinating garden book out of all of these, this Elizabeth Gilbert novel is one of my all time favorites. This novel is about botany, not gardening per say, but wholly interesting. A little long for my taste - took me a solid three tries to end up finishing, (note: I get bored easily while reading). Worth a read for sure for garden/flower/botany lovers.
My Not So Perfect Life: By Sofia Kinsella Ok, I admit this one isn’t about gardening, but it was a perfect getaway book read in like two tub sittings that was perfect for a designer to read while she dreams of figuring out the creative job world + rural life all in one go. Worth a weekend read.
A few on my to read list for winter 2018-2019:
These guys are already on my nightstand and some I’ve cracked the spine on already!
Update: I’ve now finished The Lost Garden above - definitely on the top of my garden book list. It’s short, has a lot of references to Virginia Woolfe so you can assume the style of writing is reminiscent of a short VW novel, and is sad, oh so sad. But, this little gem needs to be on your read list if you are a bookworm and gardening fanatic. About a woman in her 30s who heads out to the country to lead a group of Land Girls during the Blitz in London, about the garden they rehabilitate and what happens during that spring/summer.
And a few in my Amazon cart for future purchases once the others have been read:
The Victory Garden: A Novel *
by Rhys Bowen
The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel Paperback
by Barbara O'Neal
A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Market
by Hazel Gaynor
Garden Spells: A Novel (Waverly Family)
by Sarah Addison Allen
The Orchard: A Novel
by Jeffrey Stepakoff
The Forgotten Garden: A Novel **
by Kate Morton
* This novel comes out in Feb 2019 - and another one about land girls!
** I am aware this isn’t about gardens, but comes up on ALL the lists - gardening aside, I’ll take a great garden set novel anytime, so it’s on the list!
Do you have any favorite novels about gardens? Five stars if it’s about actual gardening and you can tell the author has ever put their hands in the dirt (lol - sometimes I do wonder). I will update you all as I read these to see if any more become favorites!