Where to Start When You’re New to Gardening

9 of the best gardening books for beginners who are starting from scratch

Want to start gardening but don't know where to start? We’ve compiled a great list of informative gardening books for beginners, that answer questions faced by those that are new to gardening, such as how to start gardening, what to grow and when to plant it.

Learn how to start to build and grow your garden, how to grow houseplants, vegetables and herbs, as well as the tools you need to help them thrive.

Whether you want your plants indoors, or you want to start designing an outdoor garden, this curated list of garden books is perfect for first time gardeners who want to start their gardening journey.

1. RHS What Plant Where Encyclopedia

This beautiful gardening encyclopedia is perfect for beginner gardeners who want to know how to choose the right plant for their garden. 

 Read RHS What Plant Where Encyclopedia, an indispensable guide to planting, to discover useful gardening tips and inspirational planting "recipes" that will show you how to landscape your garden like a pro.
RHS What Plant Where Encyclopedia - spread 1 - Plants for Clay Soil

2. Grow Houseplants

Don’t know where to start, if you want to garden indoors? Delve into the right succulents to plant, how to grow a fern and choosing the perfect trailing plants for your indoor spaces. Grow Houseplants is perfect for first-time gardeners, especially renters and people who live in smaller spaces.
Grow Houseplants - spread 2 - Choosing the right light
This indoor gardening book for beginners also includes a plant directory of over 90 houseplants to practice your new gardening skills!

3. RHS How to Garden New Edition

Want to start your own garden? RHS How To Garden New Edition will show you where to start, what tools and techniques to use, and how to troubleshoot common garden problems.
How to Garden New Edition - spread 1 - Garden inspiration
This book contains the principles of good gardening, how plants work and how to give them what they need, as well as step-by-step advice, tips and techniques.

Find everything you need to know as a beginner in this easy-to-follow gardening guide which will make growing your own garden simple and enjoyable.

4. How Not to Kill Your Houseplant

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant is great for those who have started their houseplanting journey.
How Not to Kill your Houseplant - spread 2 - Sunny spots for your houseplant
Filled with over 50 different types of popular houseplants, this book summarises what type of care your plants do (or don't) need and which types of plant will thrive in your living space.

You can also discover how to keep a cactus alive, where to hang air plants, and how to repot succulents, as well as understanding how much light, water, heat, and humidity your plant needs. Whatever your horticulture woes, this book will explain and fix it.

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RHS How To Garden When You're New To Gardening

This refreshingly accessible book is perfect for the novice gardener who wants to make the most of whatever garden they have.
RHS How to Garden When you're New to Gardening - spread 3 - Choosing Shrubs for Autumn Interest
Filled with the expertise of the Royal Horticultural Society, in this book you'll find simple step-by-step instructions, with clear images to help you create your dream garden, no matter the size and scale.
Even if you've never sowed a seed or pulled a weed, RHS How to Garden When You're New To Gardening contains everything you need to kickstart your new outdoor gardening hobby!

Want some content from this book? 

We have a PDF with some content from the book RHS How To Garden When You're New To Gardening
Download the Sowing Seeds Indoors PDF

More Gardening PDF resources

For have more resources like this see the Gardening section of our Home Activities for Adults page.
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6. Grow Pruning & Training

Do you want to know how to prune the shrubs and climbers in your garden but don't know where to start? This gardening book for beginners will help you to care for more than 80 of the most popular pruning plants.

Whether you need to prune flowering trees or have a small garden that requires controlling, Grow Pruning & Training gives you a complete pruning guide and explores all the essential techniques. 
Grow Pruning & Training - spread 4 - Evergreen shrubs
Pruning is an essential part of garden maintenance. It's also one of the most difficult parts of gardening. Use this straight forward guide to learn basic pruning techniques.

7. RHS Simple Steps: Orchids

RHS Simple Steps: Orchids is the ideal beginner's guide to growing orchids, showing you how to keep your orchids flowering year-after-year from the experts at the RHS.
Orchids - spread 3 - Siting your Orchid
Filled with clear, step-by-step photography and bite-size nuggets of information this book demonstrates aspects of how to care for orchids, including where to position, how and when to water and feed, as well as how to encourage reflowering, and how often to repot.

Packed full of stunning photographs and growing advice to help you choose what to grow. The RHS Simple Steps: Orchids is certain to build your confidence in orchid care.

8. Bonsai

Bonsai trees can bring serenity to your garden and make your landscape truly unique. Step-By-Step Bonsai provides readers with , easy and approachable introduction to bonsai trees, with illustrated step-by-step projects to make bonsai for beginners simple and achievable.

Bonsai - spread 3 - Shaping the secondary trunk

9. Grow Easy Veg

If you've begun your grdening journey and want to learn how to start and sustain your own vegetable garden, throughout the year, then Grow Easy Veg is the book for you. This vegetable gardening book, for beginners, will help you choose and care for more than 40 different varieties, all specially selected for successful growing.
Grow Easy Veg - spread 4 - Summer Vegetables
From carrots to edamame beans, this is a one-stop guide to growing vegetables that are easy to grow! Discover detailed information on how to sow, plant, feed, water, protect and harvest your vegetables.

Want more books like these?

Have a look at our list of books for Beginner Gardeners

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