Ready for May flowers, sprouting gardens, and budding trees? Try this list of fiction recommendations featuring plant life!

Compiled by:
Maggie H
The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

Susan Wittig Albert
Mystery & Detective - MYS Albert
Series: Darling Dahlias mysteries

Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this Depression-era series about the Dahlias, a group of gardeners and sleuths. This is the first in this engaging and face-past series, and the Dahlias investigate a buried treasure and a murder in their town of Darling, Alabama

The Forgotten Garden: A Novel

Kate Morton
Adult Fiction - Morton

Nell is abandoned on a journey to Australia in 1913 and is raised by the dock master who takes her in. In 2005, Nell’s granddaughter Cassandra inherits a cottage in England after her grandmother’s death. As the narrative shifts back and forth over time, it takes the reader on a richly detailed story of a forgotten garden, family secrets, and clues to the story of who Nell really was.

The Garden of Evening Mists: A Novel

Tan Twan Eng

After her horrifying experiences during WWII, Yun Ling Teoh returns to her native Malaysia. She becomes an apprentice to a Japanese master gardener in the Garden of Evening Mists. Yun Ling tells her haunting and moving story in this prize-winning novel.

Garden of Lies

Amanda Quick
Adult Fiction - Quick

Ursula Kern doesn’t believe her best employee committed suicide, so she teams up with Archaeologist Slater Roxton to investigate the murder. Readers will enjoy a witty, sensual, and suspenseful romance with a smart heroine and her dashing gentleman partner.

The Garden of Small Beginnings

Abbi Waxman
Adult Fiction - Waxman

Three years after losing her husband, Lillian has the opportunity to illustrate an encyclopedia of vegetables, but only if she joins a gardening class. The group of gardeners bond, and Lillian confronts her grief and starts to heal. This is a moving and humorous novel about life, loss, love, and the moving-on process.

Garden Spells

Sarah Addison Allen
Adult Fiction - Allen
Series: Waverly Family novels

The magically gifted Waverly Sisters, Claire and Sydney, have gone two different ways in life. Claire has nurtured her talents close to home, but closed herself off, while Sydney ran away long ago. When Sydney returns home and reconnects with those she left behind, she starts to find her own gifts. Both sisters start to heal the wounds their family legacy has left them in this heartwarming and mystical story of family, love, and magic.

The Overstory: A Novel

Richard Powers
Adult Fiction - Powers

This Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel starts as nine stories about different people whose lives are intertwined with trees. Eventually, these nine narratives converge in a stand to save old-growth forest. This hopeful, lyrical novel explores environmental activism and the interconnectedness of nature and humanity.

The Rose Garden

Susanna Kearsley
Adult Fiction - Kearsle

Eva returns to the manor on the Cornish coast where she and her sister spent their summers, in order to spread her sister’s ashes. While she’s there, strange occurrences start leading her into the past, to 1715, where she falls in love. This is a sweeping romance with mystery, time-travel, and a heroine who must decide where her future lies.


Sue Burke
Science Fiction & Fantasy - SF Burke

Travelers from Earth on a colonizing mission are forced to land on the planet Pax. Pax becomes their home, and they must learn to live in its natural environment, which includes sentient plants. This dramatic, world-building adventure is told over the course of generations, and explores issues of communication, evolution, and survival.

Taproot: A Story About a Gardener and a Ghost

Keezy Young
Graphic Novels - GN Young Taproot

Blue is in love with his best friend, Hamal. Unfortunately, Blue is a ghost. While Hamal can see ghosts, this gift is also putting him in danger. Blue has to try to find a way to protect him, or leave him, in this bittersweet and suspenseful graphic novel.

The Trees

Ali Shaw
Science Fiction & Fantasy - SF Shaw

Adrien sits on life’s sidelines until one night when the trees come alive and start destroying everything in their path. He meets Hannah and her son Seb, and together they set out to find Hannah’s brother and Adrien’s wife. Not only is this a journey through a post apocalyptic world, but it is also a personal journey for each of the characters. They find courage, hope, and change in this atmospheric and compelling tale.