Gardening Gardening books

Addicted to Gardening Books

About 1/3 of my gardening book collection.

Confession time: I’m totally addicted to gardening books. Be they about landscaping, growing plants, identifying plants, visiting gardens or whatever, I want them. One of each, preferably. I struggle to avoid even going into garden shops that offer a good book collection, because I know I’ll come out much poorer.

In North America, the New York Botanical Garden’s bookshop is especially to be avoided. How can you even come out of it without buying half a dozen books? In Europe, you can’t beat the bookshop at Wisley Gardens, near London. When I lead tours there, I tell the participants they are in no way to let me go into that shop. Last time I did, I had to pay a considerable excess baggage fee before I could get on the plane home because books are just so heavy… and there were so many of them in my suitcase.

Surprisingly, in spite of the fact that I have over 2,000 books in my collection, I actually remember pretty much each one and what it contains. I can recall, for example, that book X mentioned plant Y or treatment Z and even more or less where in the book that information is found. Since I write so much about plants and gardening, that certainly makes research easier!

Is There a Cure?

That was a rhetorical question. I have no intention of trying to find a cure for my condition. Collecting gardening books is my hobby and I figure I have the right to invest in it. So far, I have managed to not drive my family into bankruptcy.

At least book collecting takes up relatively little space, compared to, saying, collecting antique cars!

P.S. Did I mention that I also collect gardening magazines?


Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

1 comment on “Addicted to Gardening Books

  1. Well, a person with your wealth of knowledge has to store all that stuff somewhere. There isn’t one gardening magazine in the house, and I can see my mere 7 gardening books that only come out when I work an Ask a MG table. I live on line I guess after minimizing my stuff. 🙂

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