10 Garden Books to Gift This Holiday Season
There's no denying it: gardeners are visual creatures. We love color, texture and design. So, the gift of a garden book this holiday is wonderful on many counts. Many of the best coffee table garden books are the gift of inspiration, providing countless ideas from renowned experts like Bunny Williams and Carolyne Roehm on how to design your garden and unique plants to distinguish it from the rest. Other books fill a practical need, offering up sage advice, tips on planting and other nitty-gritty info that gardeners will turn to again and again in the year ahead.
Charlotte Moss' lavishly illustrated garden tome, Garden Inspirations, is just one example of this prolific designer's seductive imagination. This gorgeous book offers glimpses into not only Moss' grand, East Hampton garden, but images of the Italian, Russian, French and British gardens that inspire her. The celebrated designer, whose accomplishments include an Elle Decor Vision Award and is considered one of Traditional Home magazine's top 20 designers, has plenty of ideas on how to bring great style to your outdoor space.
On Garden Style
A grand dame of design and gardens, Bunny Williams has a gift for lush, WASP-y rooms that manage to balance cozy and grand, luxury and approachability; her style is spare, elegant and utterly beguiling. A huge influence on designers, Williams shares some of her garden inspiration in this coffee table tome. A must-read for garden lovers looking for eye-candy over the long, cold winter, Williams offers sage advice on how to use garden furniture and accessories to give your space a timeless look while offering peeks at the kind of epic gardens that look like scenes from a classic art house film. Williams' use of containers alone is diabolically genius, but there is also lots of insight into hardscaping and garden walls.
A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens
Longtime HGTVGardens contributor Melissa Caughey has written a charming book with lots of great advice for raising chickens when you have children involved in their care. The perfect pet to teach responsibility, chickens also give back in not just eggs but affection and entertainment. Need to know how to bathe a chicken? It's here. Want to show your prettiest chick at a livestock show? Find out how. From gathering eggs to feeding chickens, this is your go-to primer for all things fowl.
Color the Natural World
I'm a late arrival to the whole adult coloring phenomenon, but I have to say taking colored pencils and crayons to author Zoe Keller’s lovely, often surreal, illustrations of forests, foxes, bears and lizards is more relaxing than a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Come to think of it, pair this book with a bottle of Riesling and you might have a tool box for perfect happiness.
Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way
Looking for a gift for the manly homesteader or pioneer woman in your life? This illustrated guide to the Scandinavian art of cutting and stacking wood will provide lots of inspiration for the cold winter months ahead. A best-selling phenomenon in Britain, Norway and Sweden, Lars Mytting's enchanting book is about not only beautifully storing wood for the season, but also a philosophical rumination on humankind's relationship to trees, heat, work and nature.
Carolyne Roehm: At Home in the Garden
A high-society hostess and tastemaker, Carolyne Roehm knows her way around a garden, too. The gorgeous photos of Roehm's Connecticut home, Weatherstone, in this massive book make for great visuals. There are endless sumptuous arrangements in lovely color schemes, ideas for making an edible garden beautiful, shade garden inspiration and a real reverence for the wonder of the natural world exhibited by a quote from Frank Lloyd Wright that Roehm includes in her introduction: "Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you."
The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh
Children and children's storybooks often have a real reverence for nature, trees, flowers and secret, woodsy surroundings. A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, which will mark its 90th anniversary in 2016, is a book awash in that love of nature and its creatures. This adorable book shows the real 5,000-acre English Ashdown Forest that became the inspiration for Milne's Hundred Acre Wood when he moved there along with his only child, Christopher Robin, in order to give his son more time in nature.
The book, from landscape and garden historian Kathryn Aalto, will be utterly enchanting for fans of Winnie with its maps, letters and photographs of the real-life flora and fauna that inhabit this magical place. Readers can explore the actual locations that served as the inspiration for Poohsticks Bridge, the Floody Place, Eeyore's Gloomy Spot and the Six Pine Trees.
French Chic Living: Simple Ways to Make Your Home Beautiful
A "how to live" guide, French-style, this addictive, offbeat book is a mix of savvy design ideas and the kind of fussy advice that can recall 1950s tomes on how to care for silver, table linens and other helpful tips. Florence de Dampierre's insider-ish guidebook is probably a must-read for the Francophile on your list or for a new bride just setting up her first home.
Living Newport: Houses, People, Style
Interested in how the other half lives? This pictorial survey of the lifestyles of the chic and moneyed offers some great visuals of both interiors (including gorgeous yacht decor) and exteriors (including gazebos, follies and statuary). Residents of coastal settings will find these design ideas, many of which take the sea as their touchstone, especially useful.
Southern Rustic Cabin
Photographs by Emily J. Followill from Southern Rustic Cabins by Emily J. Followill with Lisa Frederick, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
A design goldmine for anyone looking for that perfect storm of rustic-retro-chic-cozy outdoor design, this survey of luxurious and humble Southern cabins, vacation homes and other rustic digs will be just the thing to satisfy design fans looking to capture that sweet spot of down-home luxury.
Grow a Mushroom Garden
The California company Back to the Roots offers DIY types the opportunity to skip the foraging step, and just grow their own mushrooms -- up to 1 1/2 pounds of oyster mushrooms all inside a handy cardboard box in as little as 10 days. Endorsed by no less a foodie goddess than Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, this kit is a great learning opportunity for kids and a bonding activity for the whole family. (Image courtesy of Back to the Roots)(Image courtesy of Back to the Roots)
Lure Birds and Save the Planet
The sustainably-minded company Birds Choice uses recycled plastic and milk jugs, recrafting them into lovely birdhouses designed to attract the bird of your choice, in this case the jaunty, red-headed woodpecker.(Image courtesy of Birds Choice)
An Airport for Birds
This Thru-Feeder made from recycled material, allows a variety of birds to stop in for a nibble with an easily removable and cleaned seed tray. Comes with a lifetime guarantee not to crack, split or fade. (Image courtesy of Birds Choice)
Sitting Pretty Feeder
Have a penchant for up-close-and-personal birdwatching? This window mount feeder brings the birds right up to your window to eat, so you can just sit back and watch the feathered parade.(Image courtesy of Birds Choice)
Lifestyle expert James Farmer loves birds and wreaths in equal measure, which is why the bird seed wreaths from Burpee are at the top of his wish list this season. (Image courtesy of Burpee)
Sunshine for Birds
Want to make the birds in your hood happy? Hook them up with this sweetly beaming bird seed ornament from Burpee. The fine folks at Burpee tell us they fly out the door every year, so get yours now. Image courtesy of Burpee
The Holiday Goes to the Birds
What says Christmas like providing food to those less fortunate? Keep those lovely birds who sing their hearts out for you, happy with a wreath made of birdseed they can pick at all winter long. Birdseed wreaths run from $14.95-$15.95. Image courtesy of Burpee
Tis the season to gift 20 pound books that express your giftee's devotion to all things botanical. Filmmaker and photographer Andrew Zuckerman's lavishly illustrated coffee table book features blooms so colorful and lush they become almost psychedelic. Image courtesy of Chronicle Books
Get Your Bloom On
Fashion designer Carolyne Roehm has a side passion as a photographer and this massive book features her twin love of design and botanicals. Beautifully arranged still lifes of daffodils, Meyer lemons and vases; gardens of blooming lilacs; ballgown pouffs of peonies, all convey the majesty of nature. Image courtesy of Random House
Green Under Glass
Terrariums are the perfect hostess gift because they're something people covet but will rarely buy for themselves. At Garden in Atlanta, Georgia owner and landscape expert Matthew Klyn makes his with a mixture of succulents including echeveria, sedum, pencil cactus and hens and chicks and they're decorated for the holidays with small ornaments, snow, red and green pebbles and birch cut-outs. $40-$400. Image courtesy of Garden
This garden sculpture keeps springtime alive all year long. Created by California artist Susan Regent, the steel iris is just over two feet high and will adopt a rust patina after it spends a few seasons in the elements. $135.95. Image courtesy of The Growers Exchange
Keep Your Best Friend Cozy
Why should those who walk upright have all of the sartorial fun? Outfit your dog in a cozy fleece vest and you may find him fetching your slippers with more of a spring in his step. Leave it to the outdoorsy folks at Orvis to make sure even Fido is covered in the winter gear department. Image courtesy of Orvis
Nothing is quite as emblematic of the promise of spring like the hopeful ivory blossoms of paperwhites. Beautifully presented in a sea-grass basket, these paperwhites will bloom in about six weeks. Image courtesy of Orvis
Our go-to gift for the gardener who has every gadget under the sun, this honey hive lease lets the bees do the work and the recipient reap the rewards! Lease options include early summer, late summer or a single flavor lease that lets you choose between blueberry (harvested in Maine), raspberry (harvested in Vermont), wildflower (harvested in the Catskills) or cranberry honey, which is harvested on Cape Cod. Recipients receive a lease document, three progress reports and a minimum of 30 ounces of 100% natural honey delivered to their door. $39.95-$59.95. Image courtesy of Rent Mother Nature
Herb in a Box
We love the smart, sleek design of this grow pot, which looks great on any shelf long before the basil starts to sprout. Made of sustainable bamboo, the top converts into a drainage saucer. $20. Image courtesy of Spoon Sisters
Gardening Go Guide
Destined to be displayed proudly on any gardener's bookshelf, Trowel & Error is more than an adorable play on words. This handy guide offers up more than 700 inventive tips like how to use spoiled milk on sick plants and why baby powder keeps hungry rabbits at bay. $13.95. Image courtesy of Spoon Sisters
Skip the basket to gather your veggies and instead don a gorgeous linen apron. Scoop up those baby eggplants and heirloom tomatoes in this pretty garment designed by blogger-turned-designer Valerie Rice. Image courtesy of Valerie Rice
Herbal Circle of Life
Dried dill, savory, marjoram, sage, lavender and fresh rosemary is harvested by hand on a family-owned farm and shaped into this lush and lovely wreath, which looks just as good as it smells. $69. Image courtesy of Viva Terra
Mums are one of the most fleeting flowers of fall, but they're in season year round thanks to these stylish slippers. Crafted of felted wool from a group of women in Kathmandu, these blooms will brighten up even the coldest winter day. $75. Image courtesy of Viva Terra
Want to bring a little hip to your garden? Stake one of these vibrantly colored and super-cool planters in powder-coated aluminum from California husband and wife designers Wallter in your garden for some mid-century pop. Image courtesy of Wallter
At $92 each, these powder-coated aluminum planters aren't cheap, but if a design-savvy gardener in your life is looking to add some color and cool to their green space, these whimsical planters from Wallter are just the ticket. Image courtesy of Wallter
Air plants with their unique growing habit, deserve a vessel that does them justice. These whimical glass orbs from West Elm are an appropriate showcase for your ethereal plants. Image courtesy of West Elm
Every gardener yearns for an organizing device to keep all of the tools of the trade close at hand. This tool basket is a charming solution in rattan with a removable canvas liner you can wash when things get messy. $39.95. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma
If you love your chickens, you'll want to give them a home with some style. This one has not only a built-in run, but an attached planter to grow some herbs or tomatoes and add a bit of green to the old homestead. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma
Hot Off the Presses
Anxious to gift your favorite DIY homesteader with something unique they'll really use? We think this wine and cider press promises seasons full of crisp apple cider and sparkling vino created in this centuries-old design. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma
Cut that expensive grocery store middle man out of your life, and DIY your own butter. This clever kit shows you how to whip up some rich, creamy butter to grace your homemade bisquits. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma