There’s lots of ways to educate yourself on the subject of heritage gardening, covering everything from flowers to vegetables, Canadian pioneer gardens to English estates, herbs to roses.
While some of these books are out of print now, some can still be found on Amazon and in your local library. Got any personal favourites? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list.
- The Old-Fashioned Gardener — Nigel Colborn
- Gardening With Heirloom Seeds: Tried and True Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables For a New Generation — Lynn Coulter
- Gardening With Heirloom Plants — David Stuart.
- Rhetoric & Roses: A History of Canadian Gardening — Edwinna von Baeyer
- Saving Seeds — Marc Rogers
- Saving Seeds: A Home Gardener’s Guide to Preserving Plant Biodiversity — Dan Jason
- Changing the Climate With the Seeds We Sow — Dan Jason
- The Seed Underground — Janisse Ray. This is a favourite of mine because of the compelling way she tells seed stories and why they matter.
- The Heirloom Life Gardener — Jere & Emilee Gettle. By the owners of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. The New York Times calls Jere “the Indiana Jones of seeds.”
- The Whole Seed Catalog: The World’s Largest Seed Catalogue — Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. So much more than a seed catalogue. It costs around $12 to order, but every one of its 500+ pages tells seed stories about plants from around the world, in addition to being their seed catalogue. The colour photos of the varieties are beautiful!
- The Victorian Kitchen Garden — Jennifer Davies. Companion book to the fascinating BBC TV series of the same name.
- Taylor’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables
- Heirloom Vegetables — Sue Strickland
- Heirloom Vegetable Gardening — William Woys Weaver
- The Victorian Flower Garden — Jennifer Davies
- Grandma’s Garden — Laura Martin
- Heirloom Flowers — Tovah Martin
- The Heirloom Garden — Jo Ann Gardner. Canadian, a fave of mine.
- Plants From the Past — David Stuart & James Sutherland. So very British, mentions recovering plants from a centuries-old garden.
- The Unwin’s Book of Sweet Peas — Colin Hambidge. Created by the Unwin’s Sweet Pea company in England.
- Gardening With Old Roses — Alan Sinclair & Rosemary Thodey
- From Seed to Bloom — Eileen Powell. A good way to start learning how to start flowers from seed.
- Antique Flowers: Perennials, Enduring Classics for the Contemporary Garden — Rob Proctor
- Botanica’s Roses — Peter Beales. Literally a rose encyclopedia containing listings for thousands of rose cultivars and wild roses.
- History of the English Herb Garden — Kay N. Sanecki
- A Modern Herbal — Mrs. Maude Grieve
- Taylor’s Guide to Herbs
- What Happens in My Garden — Louise Beebe Wilder
- Garden Voices: Two Centuries of Canadian Garden Writers — Edwinna von Baeyer & Pleasance Crawford
- A History of Canadian Gardening — Carol Martin