Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition Review

Gaias Garden

Review of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition

As of this writing, there are 431 customer comments and 0 answered questions for the Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition.  I’ve read the customer feedback, and then condensed the results into this review.  I hope that this helps you when shopping for a gardening book.

Best Fea​tures

  • check Everything you need to know about growing a permaculture garden
  • check Lots of information
  • check This 2nd edition contains updated information
  • check Available on Kindle and paperback
  • check Easy to read

Item Specifics

The Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition is about working with nature instead of against it. Written by Toby Hemenway, this book tells you in detail how to have a home scale permaculture garden.  Unlike the first edition, this book includes a chapter on growing a permaculture garden with limited gardening space.  Toby’s writing has appeared in many magazines, including Natural Home, Whole Earth Review, and American Gardener.  He has taught, consulted, and lectured about permaculture and ecological design through the United States and other countries.  There are 313 pages in this book, and 12 chapters.  This book is available on Kindle and paperback.

Lots of Information

Customers thought this book had a lot of detailed information.  One customer had this to say, “This book was my introduction to Permaculture and I find it very informative and uselful! The author begins with Permaculture principles and the ecological garden. A sampling of chapters: building your soil, rainwater/graywater systems, bringing in beneficial insects, birds, and other helpful animals, growing a food forest, designing guilds, and even urban permaculture gardening. My favorite things are all the tables that give you a lot of information at a glance, and the examples of different guilds. There is too much to write about in a short review, but you won’t be disappointed in this book. While this author gardens in the northwest, and I am in the southeast, he gave enough information for plants all across the country. I am re-reading the book now and I just can’t wait to begin our food forest on our little 2.5 acre lot. This book is full of practical information with a good balance of design, examples, pictures, and tables of information summarized. It is my first and my favorite Permaculture book!”

Charts and Tables Are Small on Kindle

If you will be buying this book on Kindle, keep in mind that the charts and tables are very small according to customers.  Some had issues with Kindle not allowing them to read the pages, but most just found it to be too small.  A customer explains, “Most gardeners will really enjoy this book and it will have a major influence on traditional gardening. The only reason that it was given a four star was that it didn’t transfer well to the Kindle version. Most all the charts ended up being too small to read the appendix was difficult to get to because of some type of pop-up that kept getting in the way. Otherwise would have given this book a five star in the printed edition.”

Mixed Reviews on the Pictures

There were mixed reviews on the pictures.  Some thought there were lots of informative pictures, while others wished there were more.  Here is what one customer thought, “This book is a great introduction about permaculture. But like most book of the subject it lacks pictures as it is a book of design. Great descriptions of how to build a guild. A must for those interested in the subject.”

Easy to Read

If you are wanting an easy-to-read book that is still filled with plenty of information, this book is a good choice.  Customers enjoyed reading this book and found it very easy to read.  One customer had this to say, “Easy to read and full of great information. Not only does the author explain the principles of permaculture, but he explains why they work without getting overly scientific. It has inspired me to build my food forest!”

Includes Information on Using Animals with Your Garden

This book contains information and tips on using animals to improve your garden.  However, it only talks about using animals as helpers rather than explaining how to take care of them.  A customer explains, “I would have given this book 5 stars had the author not promoted the use of animals (chickens, rabbits etc) as nothing more than tools to improve the garden with poor recommendations for their overall health and housing.”

Great for Organic Gardeners

If you are an organic gardener, or want to become one, you may find this book helpful.  Customers who were looking to grow organic food found this book to be very helpful.  Here is what one customer thought, “I found the explanations of natural processes very enlightening, and the species charts very useful. I’d recommend this book to the laymen of ecology or anyone interested in gardening or organic food.”

Makes Gardening Fun

A lot of customers found that this gardening book made gardening fun.  This is what one customer thought, “If there is one reason to buy this book, it’s because it will shift your perspective away from seeing gardening as a chore with unending maintenance. Instead, by working with nature instead of against it, problems can become signals, temporary obstacles, or just part of the normal flow. The book is pragmatic, realistic, backed with science and research, and a lot of fun.”

Very Inspiring

There were many customers who were inspired by this book.  Because it contains lots of information, yet is very easy to read, anyone who loves the thought of having a permaculture garden will be inspired by this book.  A customer explains it in this way, “LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. Totally inspiring, in-depth information and I learnt so much that I was able to get my garden guild underway immediately. Can’t recommend it enough and I refer to it daily. Love it.”

Makes a Great Gift

Many customers who had read this book before said they ordered more to give as gifts.  If you have friends or family who love gardening, this book will make a great gift for them.  Here is what one customer had to say, “I couldn’t put it down – it shipped quickly, arrived in perfect condition, I am thrilled – I even bought one for my sister as a gift so she can get started creating her own self-sustaining little piece of Gaia’s Garden. What a wonderful gift to pass along to children and grandchildren for generations – and the knowledge that just isn’t being passed on anymore will be needed again. Amazing book – so well written and easily understood. I’m learning something new every time I go back to it!”

Even Better Than the First Edition

A lot of the customers who own the first edition written by Toby Hemenway said that this second edition is even better.  Here is one customer’s thoughts on the book, “The first edition was great- but this is even better. Both philosophically profound and down to earth, in the literal sense.”

Great for Beginners

If you are new to gardening, you may benefit a lot from this book. The Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition teaches you everything you need to know about having a permaculture garden, and explains what a permaculture garden is.  With that being said, some experts and professionals at gardening questioned if this book could be used with those who already know a lot about gardening.  However, this customer explains that this book can be used with any gardener by saying this, “I love this book! As an experienced gardener and author of numerous gardening books I know there is always more to learn. Plants are amazing and I love the recommendations for planting schemes in this book, the ideas presented and the overall tone. It is a great book overall and I will be redoing my garden this spring to take advantage of some of the tips I learned while reading it such as planting comfrey under my apple trees. For those who are beginner gardeners and wondering if this book would work for them, I say yes, it will. You have to begin somewhere and starting your garden the right way such as Toby Hemenway suggests in this book is the best way to go and will save you a ton of work later on!”

Gaia's Garden


  • plus Easy to read
  • plus Good for beginners
  • plus Inspiring


  • close Price
  • close Charts and tables are small on Kindle Version
  • close Pictures

Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition Conclusion

The Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition is an easy to read book that is great for beginners.  It is good for organic gardeners and it makes gardening fun for everyone according to much of the customer feedback for this book.  This would make a good gift for just about anyone into gardening.  The price is a little high, but other than that this is a quality book that most customers who read it, recommended it.  Be aware if you buy the Kindle version that the charts and tables are small.

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people considering buying Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition.

  • chevron-circle-right Has the author written any other books?  Yes, Toby Hemenway has written one other book, called The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience.
  • chevron-circle-right How many pages are in this book?  There are 313 pages and 12 chapters.
  • chevron-circle-right How is this book available?  It is available on Kindle and paperback.

Related Article: Best Gardening Books: Top 10 to Choose on Amazon Today

1 comment
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts