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SD HORT BOOK CLUB: Announcing May, June And July Books, But (April) First…

By Karen England, for Let’s Talks Plants! April 2024.

Have you heard how much fun the SD Hort Book Club is?

It's amazing, and I'm not just saying that because I'm the head muckety-muck. I have learned so much since the book club started in January of 2021. The membership roll is over thirty readers with a few lurkers who dip in and out as the books pique their interests and their schedules allow. There is, however, plenty of room for more, so if you've been thinking that a horticulturally curated book club was just thing to do on the first Monday evening of every month at 4:30p/5 pm on Zoom then, please, by all means, join us! Just send me, Karen England, an email c/o with "Book Club" in the subject line and I will add you to the roster. It's free, and guests and members are welcome.


Please consider joining the SD Hort Book Club and read some great horticulturally imbued books along with us. Some titles are old, some new, some historical, some biographical, some fictional, some educational and all enjoyable.

To join the SDHBC, just send an email to Karen at with "Book Club" in the subject line to receive the Zoom link to the meetings.
We meet on Zoom, the first Monday of most months at 4:30p for social/5p for discussion.

Before the announcement of the next three books that we will be reading, first plan to join us on April 1 at 4:30p social/5p on Zoom for the discussion of The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Note: the Zoom SDHBC meeting link is not published, instead it is emailed to discussion participants. If you would like to receive the link please email with “book club” in the subject line.



Recent voting by the SD Hort Book Club members on which books we will be reading next has resulted in the following schedule:

May 6, 2024, The Comfort of Crows by Margaret Renkl
June 3, 2024, A Gentle Plea for Chaos by Mirabel Osler
July 1, 2024, How to Read a Tree by Tristan Gooley


SD HORT BOOK CLUB'S Previously Read List:

  1. January 2021 - The Language of Flowers by V. Diffenbaugh. 👍

  2. February 2021 - The Food Explorer by D. Stone. 👍👍

  3. March 2021 - Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson. 👍

  4. April 2021 - A Memory of Violets by H. Gaynor. 👍

  5. May 2021 - Founding Gardeners by A. Wulf. 👍👍

  6. June 2021 - Elizabeth and Her German Garden by E. von Arnim. 👍

  7. July 2021 - In Praise of Tomatoes by S. Shepherd. 👍👍

  8. August 2021 - Undaunted Courage by S. Ambrose. 👍👍

  9. September 2021 - Around the World in 80 Plants/Trees both by J. Drori. 👍👍

  10. October 2021 - American Eden by V. Johnson. 👍

  11. November/December 2021 – Finding The Mother Tree by S. Simard. 👍👍

  12. January 2022 – Braiding Sweetgrass by R. Kimmerer. 👍👍

  13. February/March 2022 - The Seed Keeper by D. Wilson. 👍

  14. April 2022 - In Search of Lost Roses by T. Christopher. 👍👍

  15. May 2022 - Turn Here Sweet Corn by A. Diffley. 👍👍

  16. June/July 2022 - The Arbornaut by M. Lowman. 👍👍

  17. August 2022 – Orwell’s Roses by R. Solnit. 👍

  18. September 2022 - The Nature of Oaks by D. Tallamy. 👍👍

  19. October 2022 - Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid by T. Ecott. 👍

  20. November 2022 - The Complete Writings of Kate Sessions in California Garden – New Edition - San Diego Floral Association. U👍👍

  21. December 2022 - The Multifarious Mr. Banks: From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World by T. Musgrave. 👍

  22. January 2023 – the Botanist’s Daughter by K. Nunn. 👍.5

  23. February 2023 – Eating to Extinction by D. Saladino. 👍👍

  24. March 2023 - The Natures of John and William Bartram by T. Slaughter. U👎

  25. June 2023 - The Plant Hunter by C. Quave. U👍👍

  26. July 2023 - The Overstory by R. Powers. 👍.3125...

  27. August 2023 - Tulipomania by M. Dash. 👍.21428...

  28. September 2023 - Garden Spells by S. Addison Allen. 👍

  29. October 2023 - Agave Spirits by G. P. Nabhan Ph.D., & D. S. Piñera. 👍.5

  30. November 2023 - The Oak Papers by J. Canton. U👍👍

  31. December 2023 - The Last Garden in England by J. Kelly. 👍.21428...

  32. February 2024 - Brave the Wild River by M. L. Sevigny. U👍👍

  33. March 2024 – Birnam Wood by E. Catton. Half a thumb up.

Our Ratings System Explained -

👍👍 Two thumbs up = excellent

👍 One thumb up = good

Half a thumb up = better than okay

✔️ No thumbs up or down = okay

👎 One thumb down = bad

👎👎 Two thumbs down = awful

 U The letter U = unanimous vote


The SD Hort Book Club was started by new president Karen England in December 2020 without her having any idea if it would be well received. She desperately needed to add to the SDHS offerings at a time when the organization lost the most important aspects of the group - being able to meet in-person or have the ever-popular garden tour. Karen also needed it to be something that wouldn’t cost the SDHS money or involve the already overworked volunteers and board of directors.


Years ago, for remarkably similar reasons, Karen ran a garden book club for the customers of Sunshine Gardens in Encinitas, her family’s business, which met monthly in the amphitheater, and it was a hit! Mostly because it didn’t cost the nursery anything and no staff (apart from Karen) were involved. Taking knowledge gained from that experience, which she loved(!), Karen adapted it to a pandemical digital world. Karen says, "I’m so glad I did! I love this book club and its members!"



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