With the days becoming darker and darker and colder and colder I have been turning my attention inside. I have a few projects in the works for the house and I've been doting on my houseplants and enjoying my indoor garden.

This past week Matthias and I were both under the weather and I spent my reading time with some gardening books.

I started with A Growing Gardener by Abbie Zabar.  I picked this book up ages ago at Half Price Books. It's really more of an illustrated gardening journal than an informational book and it's not really a book about houseplants (the author's garden is on a rooftop in New York). It's funny how re-reading a book will take you back to your life when you first encountered the book. At the time I first read this book I was obsessed with reading everything I could get my hands on about gardening and I was obsessed with filling every space in our apartment with plants. I also remember looking at the colored pencil illustrations and wishing that I could draw. Today I wish that I had overcome my hesitancy back then and started drawing.

After devouring A Growing Gardener, I remembered that I still hadn't read A Feast of Flowers, an unexpected gift from my blogger artist friend Judy. What an absolutely delightful book! Here's a quote from the introduction to give you an idea of why I loved it so much:

"Along with family and food, flowers are true substance, the smile of the hidden force that governs all life. Beauty feeds a basic hunger. Joy makes us whole."

Yes! What's not to love about a book like that? A book that has a section called "Flowers Every Day" at the end of each chapter? A book whose watercolor illustrations are so sweet? Not a single thing. Some of the illustrations, like this one,

I absolutely love.

That's a whole genre of gardening books. Beautifully illustrated with paintings or drawings. In and Out of the Garden is, perhaps my absolute favorite book like that. You're not going to get much real gardening information from this book, but the illustrations are amazing.

Growing Myself, on the other hand, is all about a spiritual connection to plants. It may sound a little hokey to some, but the idea of communicating with the plant world is a very old idea. Maybe you already talk to your plants as you tend them, if not, it's worth keeping an open mind and trying.

Do you have a favorite gardening book? One that you turn to again and again?


  1. I adore Sara Midda. Have you seen her book on France? Precious.

    Thank you for this post, I will look for some of these at my library.

    Another wonderful gardening/nature artist is Marjolein Bastin. Do you know her work? Here's a link...

  2. Oh, I'm so happy that you like that book, Anne, and I also love Sara Midda!! Such lovely illustrations!
    I hope that you and Matthias are feeling better very soon!


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