Check out our top five garden design books on

Sometimes it takes a village to find your next satisfying read. That’s why we were delighted when asked us to write a roundup of our favorite plant-related books according to a theme of our choice.

In case you missed it, the book lists on Shepherd are great — insightful, descriptive and extremely specific. Like Carole Boyce Davies’s “The best books on Caribbean reparative justice” list. And Sarah Goodwin’s “The best books about surviving in the wild, no matter the cost” list.

“I love wandering through my local bookstore until I bump into a book that I didn’t know I needed,” Shepherd founder Ben Fox tells us by email. “I want to create experiences like that but for the online world. And, I especially want to help readers discover books outside of the top 100 lists that Amazon and Goodreads keep pushing people towards. There are so many amazing books out there and I want to help get them in front of interested readers.”

Our favorite garden design books are up now on

Shepherd’s homepage. Click the genie/clover/8-ball/monkey emoji for a surprise!

For our list, we chose garden design. It never gets old, the delicious challenge of creating an outdoor space — getting art (nailing the proportions and colors of plants) and science (what can hack it against this north-facing wall??) to wrestle in the backyard. We selected books that taught solid design principles, like The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner with Studio Choo and Kiss My Aster by Amanda Thomsen. (They’re also friends of the blog. Here are flashbacks to meeting up with Leslie at the Slow Flowers Summit and to our Q&A with Amanda).

We picked more discursive works like My Garden by Jamaica Kincaid too. Plus a houseplant one with good guidance on indoor placements. And a book by an undisputed titan.

Check out our book list to see all the five titles we chose, and what they taught us about garden design.