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Creating a Reading Garden

Community reading gardens are taking root across America.

Here are some helpful hints for creating a reading garden in your backyard. Essentials include a clear area, a bench or hammock, shade and light and flowers and plants for inspiration and beauty. Think of color, shape, contrast and scent.

Getting Started

Start by clearing out debris, sticks, stones and weeds. A vibrant lawn sets the stage. For mowing larger areas, a zero-turn rider, like the Troy-Bilt RZT 50, reduces time and effort. You can go forward, backward and cut around landscaping and trees.


A lawn tractor can help quickly mow and mulch and haul materials. A string trimmer trims under and around bushes, trees and fences. Tillers create rich, workable soil by cutting into it and turning under vegetation and compost.

Consider whether you want to spend more time reading or gardening, and choose high- or low- maintenance flowers and plants. For privacy and quiet, try a hedge or screen of ivy. A border of flowers, plants, stones or shrubs can set off your outdoor "reading room." If there's no tree for shade, try taller shrubs, bushes or ivy on a trellis.

The final step is the simplest. Open up a book and experience the beauty and inspiration of your reading garden.

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