Q&A and a GIVEAWAY: Home Grown Gardening

Where you’re an experienced gardener or just getting started, BEST PERENNIALS FOR SUN AND SHADE and BEST ROSES, HERBS, AND EDIBLE FLOWERS will enrich not only your flower beds, but your mind as well. Bursting with stunning photographs and detailed information on each plant, these new colorful, photo-filled additions to the Home Grown Gardening series take the guesswork out of gardening. No trial and error—get it right the first time!

We recently did a Q&A with the editorial team to learn more about these new book releases, which you can read below. Also – enter to win one of ten copies from Houghton Mifflin!

Tell us more about the Home Grown Gardening series.  What was the inspiration behind this series?  How many books are there currently in the Home Grown Gardening series and what future book collections are to be released?  How do you decide the focus of future collections? Have you seen an increased interest in gardening based books in general and why do you think that is?

Yes, we’ve seen a recent interest in gardening books, and that’s exactly the reason we’re publishing these books now. Houghton Mifflin used to publish a comprehensive, authoritative series of gardening books—the Taylor’s Gardening Guides. We stopped publishing those years ago. Our sales department pointed out that there seemed to be a thirst for gardening books again now, so, at their request, we’ve gone back to those excellent guides and given them new life, as the Home Grown Gardening series. For this new series, we’ve taken some of the most popular material from the Taylor’s Guides and combined it with all-new photographs in a fresh new design. We have two books out this spring, and two more in production for next fall. We’re working out what will come after that.  

Curating collections such as “Best Roses, Herbs, and Edible Flowers” and “Best Perennials for Sun and Shade” must be challenging given the seemingly limitless options for plant choices.  What is your process for deciding what makes the cut and what doesn’t?  How long do labor of loves such as these take to reach the bookstand from the time of inception?

We’ve started with the most popular topics. Looking at sales of the various topics in our own gardening books history and doing research on other gardening books helps provide good data about what people want most. The production process takes about a year.

Why should these be our go-to gardening books?   What sets them apart from the rest?  

HMH: These books have solid, helpful information that is concisely written and easy to understand, and they’re beautifully designed with gorgeous photographs that will get your gardening juices flowing (see below!). They don’t aim to be encyclopedic—they include plants that are not rare and difficult to obtain but are easy to grow and will help to enhance your property. And they’re priced affordably too.

How will these books help to get our gardening juices flowing?

The design is luxurious: full-page, full-bleed photos! If you have any urge at all to beautify your space, the visual aesthetic of these books will send you running to the nursery. Who can resist the spiky pink blossoms of astilbe, the velvety purple Japanese iris, or the sweet and delicate bleeding hearts? You can practically smell the fragrance of the golden yellow Graham Thomas rose bursting off the page.  

What type of gardener are the books in this series geared for?  Beginner/seasoned gardener?  Rural/Urban gardener?  Big or small time investment?

These books are unapologetically aimed at beginning gardeners. If you’re a master gardener, this will be familiar territory—so rather than buying one for yourself, buy one for those young new homeowners who need help figuring out how to make their property more interesting and enjoyable.

Enter to win one of ten copies of a Home Grown Gardening book!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight (EST) on Sunday, September 15, 2019 (be sure to provide a valid e-mail address) in answer to the following question:

Which Home Grown Gardening book featured in this Q&A are you most interested in winning and why?

Be sure to include a valid e-mail address. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See rules for more information.)