Marjorie’s Books

How to Make a Garden

This is my new book ?based on the questions people have been asking me over the past? twenty years as I have been writing about gardening. For the new gardener the idea is that it would cover everything you could possibly ask yourself (or be baffled by) if you are just starting out. For those of you who are ready to re-think or re-vision of your garden, the book will help you get started with lots of great new idieas and a refresher on the fundamentals.

The Seven Essential steps as I see it are:

Become a Pregardener
Know your soil
Set? a Garden Style
Make a Garden Map
How to Select Plants
How to Plant
Garden Care
The book is as friendly as we could get with a ton of pictures?many of them I took in my own garden; others are by some of the best garden photographers in the country (those would be the big dishy ones). ?I had the best time working on this book because it meant going back over much of them material in the other 14 books I?ve written finding the essentials and then adding all the new and wonderful information you will need to make your garden great.

Botanica North America

Did you know that the smell of sassafras blowing offshore convinced Columbus he was near land? Or that the American sycamore, which has the largest tree trunk in the eastern forest, can live for 500 to 600 years? Or that in the period before the American Revolution, patriots designated a sycamore tree in each colony as a “Liberty Tree” ? a meeting place for plotting against the British?

These facts are just a few of thousands you’ll find in Botanica North America, an encyclopedia of the wonderfully diverse North American native plants by noted Canadian garden writer Marjorie Harris. This charming compendium is filled with more than 420 entries that provide essential information on each plant’s physical attributes, natural history, common uses, and ethnobotany.

There are also fascinating, often surprising anecdotes about plants you won’t find anywhere else. From the Eastern forest to the desert, this beautifully written volume roves across the continent exploring how climate and plant life have affected, aided, and inspired us, from the first Native Americans to North Americans living in the twenty-first century: “The lonely majesty of a wind-swept jack pine has inspired generations of poets and painters,” Harris writes. “These trees endure in spite of terrible weather . . . a jack pine forest has a dense, closed canopy with an understory of cherry, blueberry! , hazels, bracken, and sweet fern along with trailing arbutus.”

Comprehensive and engaging, Botanica North America is also filled with lush photographs of plants in their natural habitat and insightful quotes from a variety of gardening experts and amateurs, from naturalist Rachel Carson to famed conservationist John Muir. Alas the publisher has let it go out of print. You’ll find it on Amazon and Indigo and on used book store sites.

The Canadian Gardener

A classic on perennials for northern gardens. The books is divided into general climate zones and illustrates what can be used successfully in each. How to plant and grow the best perennials.

Written and photographed specifically with the Canadian gardener in mind, this comprehensive and beautifully illustrated guidebook is ideal for both the experienced and beginning gardener. Marjorie Harris’s indispensable gardening advice, design suggestions and selected plant listings will make gardening a joyful and satisfying experience.

With over 200 pages of stunning, full-colour photographs, as well as special sections on Canadian hardiness zones, planting tips, garden types and scores of suggestions and solutions, The Canadian Gardener is your special guide to the garden you’ve always wanted.

“The Definitive Guide for anyone interested in gardening Canada, this new book is filled with splendid color photographs and a wealth of comprehensive, practical information. Harris and Saunders crossed the country talking to Canadian gardeners from coast to coast, getting their ideas, solutions, advice and gardening tips.”

Susan Doran, Good Life

“Written in an entertaining style, this is a book you can read from cover to cover rather than pick up as a reference book.”

Margaret Sharp, The Calgary Herald

Seasons of My Garden

How to make a garden on a difficult site. Here is Harris’s own garden in all four seasons. She shows how she did it, so can you. Under a weeping will, a site full of roots from other people’s tree (including the neighbor’s weeping willow), spring flood, summer drought. The photographs by Andreas Trauttmansdorff are dazzling. But this is way beyond a coffee table book, it’s practical. New gardeners will find the style comforting and helpful, experienced gardeners will get inspiration for new plant combinations.

Ann Milovsoroff, Pappus.

On the paperback:

“If you didn’t see it at the time, it’s worth a close look this time around. Harris…is one of those reassuring writers who really knows what what they’re talking about but also don’t take them themselves too seriously.”

Patrick McCain



This books is so full of information it’s hard to believe they could get it on this many pages. It’s organized alphabetically and deals with every problem that could beset the gardener at any level of skill.

A handy A to Z on garden tips I’ve researched or have used over theyears in my own garden. There’s just about everything you’ll need to bring you up to speed on what’s going on in the garden.

Pocket Gardening

Even one plant can be a garden, just as long as an imagination is involved and anyone, anywhere, with any outdoor space at all, can be a gardener. Pocket gardening is a practical, inspiring guide to making the most of small spaces, shady corners, containers, balconies and roofs, parking lots and alleys and much more.

A Guide to Gardening in Impossible Places

Marjorie Harris thinks it’s time to redefine the garden.

Even one plant can be a garden, just as long as an imagination is involved and anyone, anywhere, with any outdoor space at all, can be a gardener. Pocket gardening is a practical, inspiring guide to making the most of:

  • small spaces
  • shady corners
  • containers
  • balconies and roofs
  • parking lots and alleys
  • and much more

Ecological Gardening

Your Path to a Healthy Garden

I have a few copies of this book which was first published in 1991 and reprinted in 1996. It points the way to organic gardening on any scale. Lots of stuff on composting, good and bad things that go on in the garden.

In the Garden

For many, the garden is a source of solace and renewal, a place to feast the eyes, stretch the body and renew the soul. In this gentle book, Marjorie Harris explores the nuances of the seasons, the comforting rhythms of nature both physical and spiritual and the restorative effect the garden has had on her over the years.

In the Garden: Thoughts on Changing Seasons

Brief essays describe a garden through the four seasons, and discuss how gardens and gardening can be a source of inspiration and comfort. By Marjorie Harris

HarperCollins Publishers, 1995

Favourite Annuals

Favorite annuals, by Marjorie Harris; photographs by Paddy Wales (HarperCollins, 1994)

Favourite Flowering Shrubs

Favorite flowering shrubs, by Marjorie Harris; photographs by Paddy Wales (HarperCollins, 1994)

Favourite Perennials

Favorite perennials, by Marjorie Harris; photographs by Paddy Wales (HarperCollins, 1994)

Favourite Shade Plants

Favourite shade plants, by Marjorie Harris; photographs by Paddy Wales (HarperCollins, 1994)

The Canadian Gardener's Year

The Canadian gardener’s year: a perpetual diary for northern gardeners, by Marjorie Harris (Random House, 1992)