Gardening topic books
Gardening topic books for 3-12-year-olds – our recommendations. This list includes library reference books for the Dewey decimal 635 shelves in your school library – including nonfiction practical guides, illustrated nonfiction, picture books, garden-related stories, and real-life stories involving children inspired by gardens. This list includes titles by authors including Melanie Brown, Lizzy Stewart, Abigail Wheatley, A.M. Howell, Gilles Clement and Émilie Vast.
Gardening topic books for classrooms, school libraries and school gardening clubs – our recommended titles
Gardening topic books for EYFS and KS1
Wildflower by Melanie Brown
When Daisy opens her petals, superior and aloof Rose steals her moment in the sun, telling her that she’s only a weed. Looking around her, Daisy starts to compare herself to all the other plants she can see in the garden. On the verge of developing a complex, an unlikely ally shows her that Rose isn’t right and that every plant is important and has a purpose. It’s a confidence-building text that will provoke discussion in circle time. There’s startling imagery, with almost fluorescent pastel style illustrations that leap from the page, that will surely grab the attention of any younger reader in EYFS and KS1 aged 3-7. A good book to inspire garden and plant-related creative writing it will also spark lots of ideas for related wall displays and artwork in infant classes.
I Heard a Bird by Rob Ramsden
The garden comes alive in this delightful book for young children. With captivating illustrations and a rhythmic story, preschoolers will be enchanted by the sights and sounds. Magical and lyrical, I Head a Bird is a charming text to encourage children aged 3+ to observe and appreciate nature. Get ready to spark your child’s imagination and cultivate a love for the outdoors!
Sam Plants a Sunflower by Kate Petty
This is an ideal book to ignite a passion to plant and grow amongst KS1 pupils. Sam plants sunflower seeds in the garden and the lift-up flaps in the book show what happens to the seeds. With clear text and engaging illustrations from Gruffalo artist Axel Scheffler, this is a must-have book for the spring term in infant classes.
There’s a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart
This award-winning book will make children’s imaginations run riot. Nora does not believe that her Grandma has really seen a tiger in their garden. But then strange things begin to happen. The tension builds and builds until the very end of the story. Who was right? Nora or Grandma?
Secret Sky Garden by Linda Sarah
Exploring highly relevant topics including caring for the environment, improving derelict areas, creating green spaces for city dwellers and fostering relationships through working together, this is a book that is highly relevant. Simply told with glorious colour illustrations, Funni turns a concrete roof into a garden in the sky. Not only do the flowers grow, but so does an unexpected friendship.
The Extraordinary Gardener by Sam Boughton
In this wonderfully illustrated and inspirational story, Joe lives in a grey city tower block. Dreaming of colourful plants and wildlife, he plants an apple seed. And he waits… An inspiring book about patience and imagination, this story will show younger readers how change can improve people’s lives.
Sunflower Shoots and Muddy Boots – A Child’s Guide to Gardening by Katherine Halligan
The National Trust collaborated in the publication of this book which is sure to appeal to all young gardeners. Sensibly sturdy, and featuring a wipeable cover to withstand muddy fingers, every colourful page is fun to read. With information about both indoor and outdoor garden activities, the urge to grow a garden den, a magic garden in a plant pot or a garden in a jar will be irresistible.
Gardening topic books for KS2
Gardening for Beginners by Abigail Wheatley and Emily Bone
This is an ideal starter gardening book, packed with information that will help children to feel confident enough to pick up a trowel. The comprehensive sections explain all about garden equipment, watering and pests, and moving on to the exciting part, growing tumbling tomatoes and never-ending nasturtiums, bulbs in a jar and more. A great book for green-fingered pupils in KS2.
Grow: A first guide to plants and how to grow them by Rizanino Reyes
Grow is a book to treasure. With beautiful and intricate illustrations it will inspire young readers to find out more, and then to grow! Containing fascinating profiles of 15 different plants, their history and their uses, there’s also a comprehensive guide on how to grow and nurture them. A great resource for KS2 classrooms.
The Garden of Lost Secrets by A.M. Howell
This beautifully written chapter book, with rich descriptions and language, will link effortlessly with KS2 cross-curricular topics on WW1 and gardening. Clara is sent to a country estate where her aunt and uncle work. Mystery, secrets, period detail, powerful friendships and pineapples from the garden are skillfully woven into this absorbing and thrilling tale.
How Flowers Grow by Emma Helbrough
This ‘Usborne Beginners’ book is beautifully illustrated and contains simple text that will provoke questions and an eagerness to know more. Featuring abundant facts about pollen, seeds and insects, children will develop an awareness of the wide variety of flowers that grow in different parts of the world.
i-SPY In the Garden: Spy it! Score it!
This book is a practical and fun way to encourage children to put on wellies and explore the garden – and not just their garden, but also gardens when visiting relatives, on holiday or when out walking. Using a multitude of engaging photos and absorbing facts, children will become observant and inquisitive. Each i-Spy find will earn them points and increase their knowledge of local flora and fauna.
From Tiny Seeds: The Amazing Story of How Plants Travel by Émilie Vast
Émilie Vast has created a magical book – one that will be invaluable for classes learning about gardening and the life cycle of plants. It deftly answers questions about how a plant grows and how its fruit and seeds are spread to begin the cycle of life again. Children will find out about bouncing conkers, sticky seeds, flying seeds, exploding seeds and seeds that are eaten.
A Big Garden by Gilles Clement
This is a big book adorned with amazingly detailed and child-friendly watercolour illustrations. The lyrical text will captivate early readers, leading them month by month through garden planting and harvesting. A particular strength is how this book emphasises the interaction between plants, humans and insects.
The Kew Gardens Children’s Cookbook: Plant, Cook, Eat by Caroline Craig and Joe Archer
Children who are hungry for knowledge will love learning about how to grow their food with this book that’s perfect for KS2. It will make a brilliant addition to a school or classroom library, as well as a welcome addition to the kitchen bookshelf at home. With step by step instructions for planting vegetables in both large and small plots, it explains how to transform your crop into mouth-watering meals. There is also information about all things gardening, including watering, weeding, tools and common insects.
RHS Let’s Get Gardening by DK
Full of irresistible projects for children, this book features vibrant illustrations, short chunks of text and explanatory photos. It will help children get to grips with not just gardening, but also the concepts of conservation and recycling; encouraging bees and butterflies; and fun ideas such as plant pot wellies and ladybird houses.
Gardening topic books – bulk orders and class sets
To buy a pack of all or some of the books in this list, or to order class sets of book(s) in this list, please click the button below to order via uk.bookshop.org, an organisation that supports local bookshops.
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Gardening topic books resources
- National Gardening Week is a great way to kick-start an interest in gardening in your school. The RHS has a great set of free gardening resources for schools.
- The Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum has a great range of free resources for EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4, including a wildflower meadow spotting sheet and a guide to killer plants.
- BBC Bitesize offers a collection of video and learner guides for KS1 on the subject of plants.
- Kew Gardens has a comprehensive free resource for KS1 schools and home learning about how we can protect life on the land.
- English Heritage includes a set of downloadable resources for KS1, KS2 and KS3 on its website, covering garden stories, activities and outdoor learning.
- The National Allotment Society has a great page of information explaining the benefits of allotments.
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers a superb range of paid resources for schools visiting their site in Edgbaston.
- The BBC Gardeners’ World magazine features 10 gardening projects for kids – a great free pack of ideas.
- The BBC website offers an interactive collection of ideas and projects, including indoor and outdoor activities to encourage gardening with children. Highly recommended for home learning and school gardening clubs.
- The Countryside Classroom offers a complete series of ready to go lesson plans for teachers looking to run gardening clubs in KS1 and KS2, including powerpoints.
If you liked this list of gardening topic books for children, you might also enjoy our collection of environment and climate change topic books, our food and cookery topic books, our STEM topic books and our list of great activity books for children.