Waterstones 2023 Best Books

The British book retail chain has made their selections for the best books of the year.

Waterstones shop front

Waterstones currently has 291 bookstores across the UK, Ireland, Brussels and Amsterdam. The chain employs approximately 3500 staff, and one of their average-sized shops sells a range of approximately 30,000 individual books.

Highlights from Waterstones Best 2023 list of gardening and/or garden related books are listed below.

The Best Books of 2023: Nature & Travel


  • The Gardening Book by Monty Don, BBC Books. Waterstones says “The nation’s favourite gardener delivers his defining work in this accessible and joyous guide to the fundamentals of gardening, from growing your own veg to planting a herbaceous border”.
  • Planting a Paradise: A year of pots and pollinators by Arthur Parkinson, Kyle Books Waterstones says “An inspiring love letter to gardening, this beautiful volume from the bestselling author of The Flower Yard bursts with planting ideas for both aspiring and seasoned green-fingered enthusiasts”.
  • Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival by Alice Vincent, Canongate Books Waterstones says “Surfacing the stories of women who are silenced and overlooked, this beautiful volume from the author of Rootbound explores how female gardeners of the past have drawn strength and power from the natural world”.
  • A Fenland Garden by Francis Pryor, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. Waterstones says “In captivating and evocative prose, the respected archaeologist and author of Scenes From Prehistoric Life recounts his experience of creating a garden in one of the most hostile landscapes in the country”. Pryor’s book was also listed in Ursula Buchan’s Best Gardening Books of the Year (Spectator).

Landscape & Countryside

  • The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2024 by Lia Leendertz, Gaia. Waterstones says “From tide tables and moon phases to folklore and seasonal recipes, Lia Leendertz returns with the 2024 edition of the bestselling guide to the seasons in Britain and Ireland”.
  • The Book of Wilding: A Practical Guide to Rewilding, Big and Small by Isabella Tree, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. Waterstones says “The author of the bestselling Wilding delivers the definitive manual for bringing nature back and ameliorating the environmental crisis in this accessible and practical volume”.


  • Chicken Boy: My Life With Hens by Arthur Parkinson, Particular Books. Waterstones says “Witty, charming and really rather life-affirming, Parkinson’s account of his hen-obsessed existence is beautifully adorned with the author’s own photographs and watercolours of his beloved – and very characterful – ‘ladies'”.
  • Ghosts in the Hedgerow: A Hedgehog Whodunnit by Tom Moorhouse, Transworld Publishers Ltd. Waterstones says “Both a hugely important and highly entertaining slice of nature writing, Ghosts in the Hedgerow adopts the framework of a whodunit in order to interrogate the worrying scale of hedgehog deaths in the UK”.

The Best Books of 2023: Food & Drink

  • The Farm Table by Julius Roberts, Ebury Publishing. Waterstones says “Hearty and comforting, the recipes in farmer and chef Roberts’ debut cookbook are organised thematically by season and range from roast pumpkin and sausage stew to smoked haddock and leek rarebit.