Gardening Books Have Changed My Aesthetic

Gardening books have changed my fashion aesthetic!

I used to be a yoga-panted athleisure-wearing suburban soccer mom (by outward appearance; I neither do yoga, nor do my kids like soccer. Nevertheless she persisted). But now that I’ve immersed myself in the weeds of the Dewey Decimal system 635, Gardening, I want an English-cottage-meets-Japanese-Zen garden and new clothes.

Gardening clothes. Fashion that signals I am a gardener, I care about pollinators. And that I have read everything that Andrea Wulf has ever written.

Gardening Clothes

I want what the gardening books tell me I should want: urban-farm-girl overalls or a jumpsuit, a trowel and trellis. Somehow also Victoriana.

I might get this hat.


Up-do goals.

“Beware all enterprises that require new clothes,” Thoreau said. I’m all yes, Henry David, in general I agree with you, you being a Transcendentalist saint and all, and me being small and insignificant, but look upon this cute pair of linen overalls, sir!

Overalls WITH Everything

The totally gardening-inappropriate sandals the overalls are styled with: I want them too. Mama must have!  For walking around Walden Pond this summer!

Aaaaactually, not only are these sandals gardening-inappropriate they are also walking-inappropriate. But so what? I have a new aesthetic. It’s standing cutely among day lilies, stuffing greens in my overall pockets! Or holding a bunch of flowers  to my cheek in a tweed suit.

Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life by Marta McDowell

Let’s be real, what gardeners are usually up to is this:

But that’s not great glossy gardening book photography now is it? Why be face down among the saladings in reality when you could be in fantasy garden land wearing your hair in a loose bun, contemplating apples or smelling flowers because that’s what ladies in gardening books do, mostly.

garden spells cover


Au revior, yoga pants. Hello, “crouch without the ouch” crotch gussets on my new overalls. Thank you gardening books for introducing me to a whole new me who knows the useful words “crotch gusset,” “perennial” and “hedgerow.”