The Indie Gardening & Nature Bestsellers


I missed this list when it came out, but a copy arrived from my publisher the other day.  Of course, I've got a vested interest in the contents of such a list right now, but it's also interesting in a broader sense.  So what does the Indie Gardening list say about gardeners who shop at independent bookstores?

  • Narrative.  We've got your Kingsolver, your Pollan, your Wild Trees by Richard Preston (about redwood trees and the people who study them), a cool new book of botanical history called The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf, and Our Life in Gardens by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd.
  • Local.  It's all local, isn't it?  Here's the Sunset Western Garden Book, Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, and Audubon's guide to eastern trees, all of which have to be doing well in their own regions to make a national list.
  • Veggies.  Almost half of the books on the list concern themselves with growing food.

I went through the list and realized that I own or have read 17 books on the list.  Has anyone got me beat?


  1. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

    Wicked Plants

    All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!

    The Botany of Desire

    The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible

    Our Life in Gardens

    Perennial Companions

    Square Foot Gardening

    Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

    Carrots Love Tomatoes

    The Wild Trees

    Bringing Nature Home

    Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening

    DANG! You beat me by four!

  2. A really cool book is David Douglas. Botanical Explorer. Maybe I got grammer all wrong. It’s about some trouble maker from England who got a tree named after him.

  3. Although I have only read 6 of these, I think old gardening hands like me should get honorary credit for having read either the earlier versions of some of these, or similar books by earlier authors. For instance, I still have my dirt-stained first edition of Square Foot Gardening, and I am on my 7th edition of the Sunset Gardening Book. After 40 years, who needs another book on basic vegetable-growing, composting or the wonders of mulch. Most of this stuff we had to figure out for ourselves, so the info in a lot of these books is already in our aging brains.

  4. I’m with Kathy G. But as someone who doesn’t grow veggies — my sunniest spot is reserved for water lilies growing in the pond — I am well read in other garden areas. I could stock a Borders garden section with my current collection of garden books. And I’ve got 10 volumes of my own garden journals for real local info!

  5. I loved Wild Trees! It’s a very underhyped book, and granted the writing isn’t stellar, but the story is just amazing.

    Kudos for having read it – that makes you like the third person I know who has.

  6. I loved The Wild Trees too! So much, in fact, that my husband and I signed up for tree climbing classes through Tree Climbing Northwest, who is associated with New Tribe (the company that makes the tree boats that the researchers used to sleep in the trees in the book) last year. We had a great time and have been climbing some cool wild trees of our own. I highly recommend it!

Comments are closed.