Botanical Books to add to your Holiday Wish List

Whether you’re already a plant enthusiast, or you’re looking to explore a new hobby in the new year, the holidays are the perfect time to stock up on plant books. With such a broad category, you may be struggling to narrow down your options. Leave it to the experts!

The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants by Jennifer Jewell

What it’s about

This book profiles a variety of women in plant-related careers including botany, floral design, landscaping, farming and much more.

Why Garden staff recommends:

This is an inspiring read for anyone looking to explore the intersection of plants and people.

Where to buy locally:

Left Bank Books

Subterranean Books

The Novel Neighbor

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

What it’s about:

This practical guide to gardening provides step-by-step instructions to gardeners of all levels.

Why staff recommends:

Currently in its third edition, this book was recommended by multiple staff members.

Where to buy locally:

Subterranean Books

The Novel Neighbor

Left Bank Books

The Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Michael Dirr

What it’s about:

Called the “tree bible” by fans, this reference guide provides information for the identification of trees and other woody landscape plants.

Why staff recommends:

One of the most beloved horticultural references, it includes detailed descriptions and growing information for thousands of cultivated woody plants. It covers the basics of creating and maintaining a perennial garden including design, pruning, and common pests.

Where to buy it locally:

Left Bank Books

Subterranean Books

Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Ranier and Claudia West

What it’s about: 

This book examines modern, urbanized landscapes and urges readers to consider how the wild can still flourish in cities and suburbs.

Why staff recommends:

This book was recommended by multiple Horticulturists including (Chinese and Ottoman Collections) who says “Post-Wild World proposes new, and highly unfussy ways to successfully welcome healthy, low-maintenance plantscapes into our modern communities.” Marissa Sedmak, Garden horticulturist 

Where to buy it locally:

The Novel Neighbor

Subterranean Books

Left Bank Books

Missouri Wildflowers by Edgar Denison

What it’s about:

A colorful guide to Missouri’s native wildflowers.

Why staff recommends:

It is organized by bloom color and bloom time, and includes color photos and descriptions of Missouri’s common wildflowers.

Where to buy:

Missouri Department of Conservation Nature Shop

Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy

What it’s about:

A look at the significant impact using native plants in your own backyard can have on wildlife.

Why staff recommends:

Recommended by more Garden horticulturists than any other, this book challenges us to examine the connections between cultivated landscapes and wildlife. Tallamy’s other works including Nature’s Best Hope, and The Living Landscape (co-authored with Rick Darke) both of which were also recommended by our Horticulture staff.

Where to buy it locally:

Left Bank Books

The Novel Neighbor

Subterranean Books

One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

What’s it about:

A close examination of the way we farm and eat affects health, and much more.

Why staff recommends:

“Everyone should read One Straw Revolution,” a book that chronicles the author’s evolving philosophy on farming practices and our place in the natural world.

Where to buy it locally:

Subterranean Books

The Novel Neighbor

Left Bank Books

For Kids

If you’re looking for a gift for a budding botanist, check out these gifts from the Missouri Botanical Garden Press

Herbs A to Z

What it’s about: The St. Louis Herb Society shares their herb expertise in a kid-friendly format that will have youngsters looking closer at the plants in their gardens and on their plates.

Where to buy: 

MBG Press

Garden Gate Shop

Herbaria: A Guide for Young People

What it’s about:

This brand-new picture book for grades 1-8 explains the importance of herbarium specimens and shares stories about famous historical plant collectors and the paths they established investigating plants.

Where to buy it:

Preorder from MBG Press now!

Look for it soon in the Garden Gate Shop

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