The library owns about two billion gardening books. I’m pretty sure that is hardly an exaggeration. It can be a bit overwhelming.
So let me recommend one as a librarian and a gardener: Emily Murphy’s Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life. It isn’t the only gardening book you’ll ever need, but it’s a darn good start.
It provides an overview of how to start and maintain your garden. Most of the info contained on that front is a little generic, and probably obvious to experienced gardeners. But for beginners it is a good framework, with ample practical advice.
The real jewel of Murphy’s book however is its itemization of recommended vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers for planting — broken down into twelve groups of “food plant families.” Mostly conforming to season and species subgroups, the family forms make real-world sense.
Furthering the value of Murphy’s book are great photographs and a graphic formatting that readily highlights small nuggets of knowledge. In other words, you don’t need a lot of time to enjoy and learn from Grow What You Love, you just need ten minutes, an eye for color, and a passion for page turning.