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?


Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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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