Whether you’re in the depths of a dreary winter, or enjoying the spoils of summer, any season is the right season to enjoy a little Mother Nature. While trickier in the colder months, one solution is devouring plant books (especially if you’re a serial plant killer who can’t keep a succulent alive indoors). On a mission to cure our winter blues, we searched for a few beautiful, informative books about plants and the four selected here will satisfy most tastes. There are delightful botanical illustrations from the late 1800s and early 1900s, modern architecture and interior design that involves greenery, tips and ideas about foraging for flora, and technical botany explained for regular green thumbs.
Practical Botany for Gardeners
Geoff Hodge’s “Practical Botany for Gardeners” ($25) explains over 3,000 botanical terms for regular people to understand and put to use. While this description may sound somewhat clinical, the book is fascinating—and handy. From understanding underground food storage organs (like bulbs and corms), to grafting and the many different kinds of cuttings, you can create a bountiful at-home garden all year ’round.
Botanical Art from the Golden Age of Scientific Discovery
In gorgeous full-color pages, Anna Laurent’s “Botanical Art from the Golden Age of Scientific Discovery” celebrates art and science at the same time—perfect for naturalists, gardeners, artists and even historians. These illustrations date back through the 19th and 20th centuries and are quite transportive—it’s incredible to see the artistry of such scientific discoveries, and to think just how significant and advanced they must have been for the time. Yet, there’s a timelessness to every illustration in this book, as there’s no denying the beauty and awe that nature continues to offer.
Foraged Flora: A Year of Gathering and Arranging Wild Plants and Flowers
Perhaps more for those plant-enthusiasts who aren’t quite as good at keeping live plants going, Louesa Roebuck and Sarah Lonsdale’s “Foraged Flora” encourages readers to observe the wealth of flora that’s around them. Organized month by month (with moody imagery shot by Laurie Frankel), this book shows how to arrange flowers, and when. From enjoying botanicals at their young bud stage to seeing the beauty in roadside fennel, Roebuck and Lonsdale approach flower arrangement in a modern and sustainable way.
Evergreen: Living with Plants
Especially useful for city-dwellers, Gestalten’s “Evergreen: Living with Plants” ($60) is full of inventive ways to incorporate plants into small spaces, or homes without backyards. From rooftop farming and hanging plants fitted with LED lights to helpful hints about which rooms certain plants will thrive in, there are imaginative but practical ideas for filling your house with greenery. For those lucky enough to have a yard, there are also plenty of overflowing greenhouses and ways to make your outdoor space a jungle escape. Traversing all kinds of styles (from making cacti gardens to a zen Japanese area), this book will inspire.
Images by Cool Hunting