100 books like Moving Heaven and Earth

By Steffie Shields,

Here are 100 books that Moving Heaven and Earth fans have personally recommended if you like Moving Heaven and Earth. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Mr Hamilton's Elysium: The Gardens of Painshill

Roderick Floud Author Of England's Magnificent Gardens: How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today

From my list on the history of the gardening industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love visiting other people’s gardens, great and small. There are many thousands throughout England but, as I surveyed the beauty of the lakes and rolling lawns of one of them, I was struck by a question: how much did it cost? I found that none of the huge number of books on gardening and garden history gave an answer, so (drawing on my experience as an economic historian) I had to try for myself. Fifteen years later, after delving in archives, puzzling out the intricacies of lakes and dams, exploring ruined greenhouses, peering into the bothies in which gardening apprentices lived, England’s Magnificent Gardens is my answer.

Roderick's book list on the history of the gardening industry

Roderick Floud Why did Roderick love this book?

The story of the creation, and re-creation, of one of England’s most beautiful—but least known—gardens. Painshill, on the southwestern outskirts of London, was built in the mid-1700s by Charles Hamilton, a minor aristocrat, with money garnered from government sinecures and his wealthy friends. Later admired by Thomas Jefferson, the garden has a large artificial lake, temples, a pagoda, a hermit’s hut, and a fabulous crystal-studded, entirely manmade, grotto which cost the equivalent of £14 million today to build. After falling into decay, the garden has been restored by a dedicated band of men and women, including the author of this sumptuous book.

By Michael Symes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mr Hamilton's Elysium as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Hon. Charles Hamilton was one of those extraordinary eighteenth-century gentlemen who, like Lord Cobham at Stowe and Henry Hoare at Stourhead, turned their gardens into works of art.



Inspired by his time in Italy, Hamilton set out to transform the 'accursed hill' at Painshill in Surrey into a pictorial landscape complete with serpentine lake and water wheel, Turkish Tent, 'Chinese Bridge', Ruined Abbey, Grotto and Hermitage. The garden soon ranked with the best in the land but it later lay forgotten until rediscovered in the 1970s. The restoration over the last thirty years or so has been as careful…


Book cover of The Sun King's Garden: Louis XIV, Andre le Notre and the Creation of the Gardens of Versailles

Roderick Floud Author Of England's Magnificent Gardens: How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today

From my list on the history of the gardening industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love visiting other people’s gardens, great and small. There are many thousands throughout England but, as I surveyed the beauty of the lakes and rolling lawns of one of them, I was struck by a question: how much did it cost? I found that none of the huge number of books on gardening and garden history gave an answer, so (drawing on my experience as an economic historian) I had to try for myself. Fifteen years later, after delving in archives, puzzling out the intricacies of lakes and dams, exploring ruined greenhouses, peering into the bothies in which gardening apprentices lived, England’s Magnificent Gardens is my answer.

Roderick's book list on the history of the gardening industry

Roderick Floud Why did Roderick love this book?

Louis XIV of France was, like many other European kings and their queens and families, a mad-keen gardener. He had all the resources of his powerful nation, including its army, to help him and the result was the garden of Versailles, probably the most expensive and lavish ever made. It was watered by hundreds of fountains, powered by a set of pumps in the River Seine which was probably the largest machine constructed before the Industrial Revolution. Versailles became the model which kings and aristocrats across Europe aspired to emulate. Ian Thompson tells its history, in detail but in engaging prose. 

By Ian Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sun King's Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

War-monger, womanizer and autocrat, Louis XIV, Frances's self-styled 'Sun-King', was also history's most fanatical gardener. At Versailles, twelve miles outside Paris he created not only Europe's most lavish palace but the most extensive gardens the Western world has ever seen. The Domaine Nationale de Versailles now covers 2,100 acres (about two and a half times the size of New York's Central Park) but in it's heyday under Louis, the grand parc covered an astounding 16,343 acres. Assisting Louis in all this was a lowly-born gardener, Andre Le Notre, whose character and temperament were as different from those of his sovereign…


Book cover of The Gardens of the British Working Class

Roderick Floud Author Of England's Magnificent Gardens: How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today

From my list on the history of the gardening industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love visiting other people’s gardens, great and small. There are many thousands throughout England but, as I surveyed the beauty of the lakes and rolling lawns of one of them, I was struck by a question: how much did it cost? I found that none of the huge number of books on gardening and garden history gave an answer, so (drawing on my experience as an economic historian) I had to try for myself. Fifteen years later, after delving in archives, puzzling out the intricacies of lakes and dams, exploring ruined greenhouses, peering into the bothies in which gardening apprentices lived, England’s Magnificent Gardens is my answer.

Roderick's book list on the history of the gardening industry

Roderick Floud Why did Roderick love this book?

Garden history is largely written about the gardens of the rich and famous, kings, queens, and aristocrats, But most of the population, in many countries, have small gardens, balconies, and window-boxes and tend them as lovingly as do the paid gardeners of the rich. Margaret Willes uncovers their history in Britain over five centuries; it is a difficult task because most working-class gardeners left few or no documentary records, but she succeeds triumphantly. Gardening societies, at which they showed off their prize fruit and vegetables, allotments, the garden cities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, all have their place, together with the archetypal cottage garden with roses around the door.  

By Margaret Willes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gardens of the British Working Class as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This magnificently illustrated people's history celebrates the extraordinary feats of cultivation by the working class in Britain, even if the land they toiled, planted, and loved was not their own. Spanning more than four centuries, from the earliest records of the laboring classes in the country to today, Margaret Willes's research unearths lush gardens nurtured outside rough workers' cottages and horticultural miracles performed in blackened yards, and reveals the ingenious, sometimes devious, methods employed by determined, obsessive, and eccentric workers to make their drab surroundings bloom. She also explores the stories of the great philanthropic industrialists who provided gardens for…


Book cover of The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obession

Roderick Floud Author Of England's Magnificent Gardens: How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today

From my list on the history of the gardening industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love visiting other people’s gardens, great and small. There are many thousands throughout England but, as I surveyed the beauty of the lakes and rolling lawns of one of them, I was struck by a question: how much did it cost? I found that none of the huge number of books on gardening and garden history gave an answer, so (drawing on my experience as an economic historian) I had to try for myself. Fifteen years later, after delving in archives, puzzling out the intricacies of lakes and dams, exploring ruined greenhouses, peering into the bothies in which gardening apprentices lived, England’s Magnificent Gardens is my answer.

Roderick's book list on the history of the gardening industry

Roderick Floud Why did Roderick love this book?

Gardening is indeed an obsession, which can drive men and women to madness and penury. It is fuelled by competition, the desire to have the latest, most exotic specimen. Andrea Wulf captures beautifully the mania for American plants which swept across English gardens in the 1700s, as the plant-hunter John Bartram of Virginia teamed up with the London merchant, Peter Collinson, to import boxes of plants and seeds into the UK. If they survived the long sea voyage, they were then nurtured by English aristocrats and their head gardeners, at vast expense, before becoming so common that few gardeners in Europe today know where they came from.

By Andrea Wulf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Brother Gardeners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Invention of Nature, a fascinating look at the men who made Britain the center of the botanical world.

“Wulf’s flair for storytelling is combined with scholarship, brio, and a charmingly airy style. ... A delightful book—and you don’t need to be a gardener to enjoy it.”—The New York Times Book Review

Bringing to life the science and adventure of eighteenth-century plant collecting, The Brother Gardeners is the story of how six men created the modern garden and changed the horticultural world in the process. It is a story of a garden revolution that began…


Book cover of Arcadia

Benjamin Markovits Author Of Imposture

From my list on historical fiction about famous writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was fourteen years old, my family moved from Texas to London for a year, and I started going to a little second-hand book shop around the corner. It was run by a long-haired Canadian, who always smoked a pipe. There were only three or four aisles, plus a cluttered backroom. You could pick up a 19th-century edition of the complete works of Shelley, with uncut pages, for two pounds. One volume led to another, in the same way that one friendship can lead to another, or introduce you to a new circle of people. Twenty-odd years later, I decided to write a novel about some of these writers.  

Benjamin's book list on historical fiction about famous writers

Benjamin Markovits Why did Benjamin love this book?

One of my favorite plays. Set in an English country house across two centuries, it tells the story of Thomasina Coverly, a precocious schoolgirl in 1809 who falls in love with her eccentric tutor, Septimus Hodge.

Along the way she discovers a version of the 2nd law of thermodynamics – the fact that everything over time becomes messier. Because of sex, she jokes, apart from anything else. Byron makes a brief appearance and Stoppard manages to make him almost as witty on the stage as he was in life.

It’s a very funny, very clever play, but also incredibly moving, as a brilliant young woman briefly sees the world opening up to her remarkable understanding, before life gets in the way.

By Tom Stoppard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Arcadia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a large country house in Derbyshire in April 1809 sits Lady Thomasina Coverly, aged thirteen, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge. Through the window may be seen some of the '500 acres inclusive of lake' where Capability Brown's idealized landscape is about to give way to the 'picturesque' Gothic style: 'everything but vampires', as the garden historian Hannah Jarvis remarks to Bernard Nightingale when they stand in the same room 180 years later.

Bernard has arrived to uncover the scandal which is said to have taken place when Lord Byron stayed at Sidley Park.

Tom Stoppard's absorbing play takes us…


Book cover of The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of Gardening

Lynn Byczynski Author Of The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower's Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers

From my list on for flower lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a farmer and a writer, I have devoted my career to organic vegetable and flower production. I founded Growing for Market, a national magazine for market farmers, and published a monthly column about cut flowers. I also grew flowers commercially for 25 years for florists, supermarkets, CSAs, and farmer's markets. I am obsessed with all things in the garden, but especially with the flowering plants, and I’m delighted to share my love of flowers with anyone who wants to learn more.

Lynn's book list on for flower lovers

Lynn Byczynski Why did Lynn love this book?

My garden will never look like Longmeadow, Monty Don’s quintessential English garden with bucolic vistas, garden rooms enclosed by tall hedges, and a tidy vegetable garden complete with a glass greenhouse. But I can dream, can’t I? This book by the star of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World is full of practical information about gardening organically. I’m amazed at how many plants Monty grows in pots. Let’s just say his show and books have opened my eyes to new possibilities for my own gardens.

By Monty Don,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Gardener as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Sunday Times bestseller

Even great gardeners like Monty Don are always learning and always experimenting.

The Complete Gardener brings you right up to date on how Monty gardens today.

This extensively revised new edition covers what Monty believes are the most important aspects of gardening today. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned gardener, it's time to get your green-fingered hands dirty!

A comprehensive gardening guide that no gardener should be without:

- An introductory chapter that explains the essentials of organic gardening practice
- A structure chapter that shows you how to define space in your garden with hard…


Book cover of Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom

Jeffrey S. McLain Author Of Backyard Big: Growing Atlantic Giant Pumpkins in Your Backyard

From my list on helping me grow giant pumpkins in my backyard.

Why am I passionate about this?

It started when my friend gave me several pumpkin seeds he acquired from a giant pumpkin grower. He said it came from a large pumpkin, and growing one in my backyard would be fun. As a gardener, I thought this sounded entertaining. I planted the seeds in little pots and moved one of them to my garden during the spring. Soon, the plant began to grow astoundingly, taking over the entire garden area. Then, pumpkins started growing. I culled all but one pumpkin, and I witnessed a little pumpkin grow to 800 pounds in three months. I was amazed and astonished, and I was forever hooked on the sport of growing Atlantic Giant Pumpkins.

Jeffrey's book list on helping me grow giant pumpkins in my backyard

Jeffrey S. McLain Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Monty Don's narration in this book truly brought my garden to life. His poetic descriptions of the seasons, garden designs, and plant types were highly informative and inspiring.

I was particularly impressed with his depth of knowledge and the way plant names rolled off his tongue so beautifully. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for gardening inspiration.

By Monty Don,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down to Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Growing some fruit, veg and herbs is one of the most life-enhancing, practical and enriching things that anyone with a scrap of land can ever do." - Monty Don Unrivalled gardening wisdom from Britain's favourite gardener. Written as he talks, this is Monty Don right beside you in the garden, challenging norms and sharing his advice based on years of experience. Month-by-month, Monty reveals the jobs he does in his own garden, that he hopes are relevant to you. Discover Monty's thoughts and musings on nature, seasons, colour, design, pests, flowering shrubs, containers, and much more. Monty's intimate and beautifully…


Book cover of The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Why am I passionate about this?

Lots of us rely occasionally on technology to help us entertain a young child, but the connection we form when looking at a book together cannot be beaten. I have found, both personally and professionally, that great books are born when a kind of magical mix-up is created in a child’s imagination between the words you read and the pictures they see. It feels so wonderful when this happens that they want to revisit the book again and again. I have written many books for young children over more than 20 years, and I am always striving to help cast that magical spell.

Fiona's book list on families and growing up–the funny bits, the comforting bits. . .and the scary bits

Fiona Munro Why did Fiona love this book?

You may have seen the movie, but, for me, there is absolutely nothing to compare to Beatrix Potter’s classic original tale. This story about a family of rabbits has been on my bookshelf since my mother introduced Peter Rabbit to me as a young child. Her copy has been read to my children, who I hope will pass it on again. 

Even though this book was written well over a century ago, I think it really stands the test of time. Mrs. Rabbit is a busy single mom with three good-as-gold daughters and a naughty son called Peter. I find the intricate illustrations unrivaled–open the book to be transported straight into an English country garden. 

By Beatrix Potter,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Tale of Peter Rabbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

"Now run along, and don't get into mischief," Mrs. Rabbit tells her bunnies. But frisky Peter runs straight to Mr.. McGregor's tasty garden and sneaks under the gate! This beloved classic is once again available in an 8x8 format, now with beautifully remastered artwork.


Book cover of A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings

Luke Dixon Author Of BEES and HONEY myth, folklore and traditions

From my list on bees and beekeeping.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been enthralled with the natural world since childhood, but it was not until I had enjoyed a career as a theatre director, that my life changed course and I became a professional beekeeper. My new job took be across the rooftops of London, managing bees and hives for The Bank of England, Kensington Palace, The London College of Fashion, Heathrow Airport, Bloomberg, and many others. Now I run a small environmental charity, The Bee Friendly Trust, helping to make the world a little more hospitable to honeybees and some of the many other pollinators that make human life possible.

Luke's book list on bees and beekeeping

Luke Dixon Why did Luke love this book?

I love this book. It is an intimate, touching, delightful account of a young woman’s true-life search for love and fulfillment through a year of keeping bees.

We follow her journey as she brings a hive and bees into her English garden and accompany her on every twist and turn of her beekeeping experience, and the personal life that is entwined within it. Helen’s book is a love story as much about humans as it is about bees.

By Helen Jukes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This book has found a special place in my heart. It's as strange, beautiful and unexpected, as precise and exquisite in its movings, as bees in a hive. I loved it' Helen Macdonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK
'Everyone should own A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, which moved and delighted me more than a book about insects had any right to ... Jukes is a gloriously gifted writer and her book ought to become a key text of this bright moment in our history of nature writing' Alex Preston, Observer
'Finely written and insightful' Melissa Harrison, Guardian

A…


Book cover of How to Help a Pumpkin Grow

Jacqueline Rogers Author Of Goblin Moon

From my list on Halloween illustrated.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up next to a cemetery, and being an avid young artist, I loved to draw all kinds of monsters and spooky themes. Halloween books are a perfect way to express my creepy…but not too creepy side. When I look at Halloween picture books, I'm immediately focused on the pictures, long before I read the story. What medium did the artist use? How do they depict night scenes? Are they realistic or stylized? How interesting are their characters? Halloween picture books are a perfect way to create moody and somewhat scary scenes that balance the creepy with the not-so-creepy. Kids love to be scared, but we don’t want to give them nightmares! 

Jacqueline's book list on Halloween illustrated

Jacqueline Rogers Why did Jacqueline love this book?

What I loved most about Ashley Wolff’s How to Help a Pumpkin Grow was her color! This luscious book is filled with gorgeous, intense full-spectrum color! Wolff’s wet on wet washes flow seamlessly into each other as a base layer. I am guessing, there may be some smooth pastel added to enhance the color in places. Wolff’s adept painting skill brings out details with multi-colored painted line work on top of the washes. 

Unusual touches like the addition of saturated royal blue to highlight the black coat of the dog and crow feathers add an interesting pop of color. The great asset of acrylic gouache is that it can be both transparent or opaque, enabling Wolff to add light line work on top of dark washes.

Gorgeous work, Ashley Wolff!

By Ashley Wolff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Help a Pumpkin Grow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

What does it take to help a pumpkin grow? Find out in this warm, rhyming tale of gardening and unexpected friendship.

Dog is planting a garden, doing all he can to help his pumpkins grow: protecting them from snow, weeding and watering their patch, and keeping them safe from barnyard creatures who might eat the sprouts! But are Crow, Rabbit, Duck, and Goat really out to destroy the garden? Or are they be new friends hoping to pitch in and help the pumpkins thrive?


5 book lists we think you will like!

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