Resources for the Novice and Expert Gardener

This post is the second in a series of 3 weekly posts focused on gardening resources — whether you’re a novice or avid gardener, I think you’ll find these information sources helpful. Make sure to read the first post in the series, Tips for Herb and Kitchen Gardening.

Spring is quickly approaching—especially here in Charleston, South Carolina—and it’s not too early to start planning your garden. Today, I am sharing books, reference

Gaillardia Flower


sources, and DVDs that I have uncovered. These gardening resources have bee helpful to me (the somewhat novice gardener), and I highly recommend them.


I am a huge, huge fan of public libraries.  I wholeheartedly believe libraries are essential to the health of communities and are more relevant today, in the digital age, than they have ever been.  So, as is always my practice, I went to the library catalogue to find the most informative, accessible, and engaging books and other media on the subject of gardening.

Need a search engine to find gardening books available through local libraries?  Use The World’s Largest Library Catalogue search engine, select a book of interest, and then seek a nearby library.  (Don’t forget that most libraries offer inter-library lending to obtain books that are not in their collection).

5 Gardening Books from the Library

  1. Community Gardening by Ellen Kirby and Elizabeth Peters
  2. Eat More Dirt: Diverting and Instructive Tips for Growing and Tending an Organic Garden by Ellen Sandbeck

    Organic Gardening by Geoff Hamilton

    Organic Gardening by Geoff Hamilton

  3. The Organic Gardening Book by Geoff Hamilton
  4. The Art of the Kitchen Garden by Jan Gertley and Michael Gertley
  5. Advanced Home Gardening: Cutting-Edge Growing Techniques for Gardeners By Miranda Smith

Tip: Another cool aspect about libraries, in addition to just about everything being free of charge, is their programs, events and speakers.  Horticulturists, avid gardeners, sustainability initiatives – all have been speakers and program topics at local public libraries.

Gardening Associations

Often we fail to explore interest groups and associations. I imagine most communities have a garden club or horticultural society where like-minded people come together to share their passion for gardening and to support gardening within their community.

I encourage you to explore one or all of the national organizations listed below which will lead you to local chapters in your geographic area.  The knowledge and the meaningful relationships you develop will enrich your life in ways you could not at first imagine.  And you will have the opportunity to attend lectures and garden tours, shop for seeds and plants, and help support community gardens.

Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden

4 Garden and Plant Organizations

  1. American Horticulture Society
  2. American Community Gardening Association
  3. National Gardening Association
  4. Native Plant Societies

Idea: Not able to find an organization in your community? Gather your friends and start one!


While books have long been my preferred source of learning, others are engaged by and learn more from audio/visual formats. There are a whole host of DVDs on gardening practices available through public libraries, Netflix, PBS,, and many other book/media outlets. I have listed below a few DVD titles that I have found worthwhile and recommend.

The Art & Practice of Gardening DVD

The Art & Practice of Gardening DVD

4 DVD Titles

  1. The Art & Practice of Gardening 2PK DVD
  2. Jerry Baker: Year ‘Round Vegetable Gardening (2006)
  3. Healing Through Gardening
  4. The Best of Ground Force: Garden Rescues (2003)

Whether you are looking for fresh inspiration, fellow gardening enthusiasts, or basic how-to resources, there is a source for you.

Have a story of friendship forged through gardening? Please share the story with us in the comment section.