Gardening with Emma

Grow and Have Fun: A Kid-to-Kid Guide


By Emma Biggs

By Steven Biggs

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$25.99 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $19.99 $25.99 CAD
  2. ebook $11.99 $15.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 22, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

National Parenting Product Awards Winner!

Thirteen-year-old Emma Biggs is passionate about gardening and eager to share her passion with other kids!

Gardening with Emma is a kid-to-kid guide to growing healthy food and raising the coolest, most awesome plants while making sure there’s plenty of fun. With plants that tickle and make noise, tips for how to grow a flower stand garden, and suggestions for veggies from tiny to colossal, Emma offers a range of original, practical, and entertaining advice and inspiration. She provides lots of useful know-how about soil, sowing, and caring for a garden throughout the seasons, along with ways to make play spaces among the plants. Lively photography and Emma’s own writing (with some help from her gardening dad, Steve) capture the authentic creativity of a kid who loves to be outdoors, digging in the dirt.



To Mom, Shelley Biggs, who doesn't mind tomato stains on my clothes (at least my old clothes) and dirt under my fingernails. And to Nana Joanne, who always had the nicest gardens and who I remember when I am in my garden.


Thank you to everyone Dad and I interviewed for this book: John Bagnasco, Robert Chapman, Linda Crago, Cristina da Silva, Owen, Jack, and Tom DeKay, Phil Hunt, Niki Jabbour, Cathy Kozma, Craig LeHoullier, Colette Murphy, Leanne Rabinowitz, Denise Schreiber, Simon Southwell, Jessica and Ty Walliser, and Ellen Zachos. And a big thank you to photographers Donna Griffith, Kim Lowe, and Mars Vilaubi, and illustrator Rob Hodgson, for their wonderful work.

Thank you to the expert gardeners who inspired me: Chris Gark, Linda Crago, Colette Murphy, and my neighbor Joe Pires.

Thank you to Mom and Donna Young for being another set of eyes.


Why I Wrote This Book

Chapter 1: Garden ABCs

Chapter 2: Great Gardens for Kids

A to Z Garden

For Color Lovers

Rainbow Veggies

Grow a Flower Stand

Tickling Garden

Totally Tasty Tomatoes

Grow a Pizza

A Garden of Sounds

A Giant's Garden

Cool Containers

Weird and Wonderful "Wow!" Garden

Make a Play Space

Garden on Straw

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies

Build a Bug Garden

Backyard Fruit Plants

Flowers That Look, Smell, and Taste Good

Small Surprises

Delightful Discoveries

Chapter 3: A Bit of Practical Advice

Chapter 4: Fall and Winter Garden Fun

Metric Conversions

My Top 130 Tomatoes

Other Storey Books You Will Enjoy

Share Your Experience!

Why I Wrote This Book

I've been helping my dad in the garden since I was little. It started with watering plants and making mud stew. I loved having rides in the wheelbarrow, too! From there I helped Dad make gardens and plant seeds. My first garden had some watermelons and cherry tomatoes. When I was in grade one, I gave a presentation to my school about gardening.

Now I have my own gardens — a few of them, actually. I'm 12, so I guess I really haven't gardened that long, but I've gardened a long time for a kid. I love it. And I've always wanted to write a book about gardening. When I was little, I made books by stapling together my garden drawings, and I made signs for Dad when he gave garden talks or had a table at gardening events. When his first book came out, I made signs that said, "By Steven Biggs, helped by Emma."

I've had fun writing this book with Dad. Now I can write, "By Emma Biggs, helped by Steven."

Kids Are Not Grown-Ups!

Kids have different ideas about gardening than grown-ups do. To understand what grown-ups want, we need to understand how they think. Mostly it seems grown-ups want their gardens to look good for when other grown-ups come visit! For a grown-up, looking good means straight rows, no weeds, and level soil. They want the garden to be tidy. This means they might not want us kids in the garden — because kids can "mess up" gardens. It's about looks.

Here are a few things grown-ups don't want kids to do in a garden.


  • “It is so refreshing to discover a kid’s gardening book written by a kid for other kids …. Emma’s practical gardening tips are a win for the whole family!” — Sarah Pounders at

    “Emma Biggs inspires kids of all ages to get their hands dirty, their feet muddy, and their thumbs green!” —  Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, The Nature Principle, and Vitamin N

    “Emma shares a green wisdom and knowledge that is as deeply rooted as an oak tree. She is sure to inspire other kids to dig in and grow with their gardens.” — Sharon Lovejoy, author of Sunflower Houses, Roots Shoots Buckets Boots, and Trowel Error

    “Simply flipping through Gardening with Emma had me ready to get my hands dirty and get absorbed in new projects with my kids. Along with fun photos and illustrations, this book has a breadth and depth that makes it destined to become that tattered-with-loving-use, go-to reference and gardening-debate resolver for children and parents for many years to come.” Brad Long, chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author

    “Chock-full of startlingly deep and fresh insights, this book has a whole lot to teach about how to make gardening the right mix of work and joy.” — Wayne Roberts, PhD, city food policy expert

    “A wonderfully refreshing book that explores gardening from a kid’s perspective, Gardening with Emma will make you smile, laugh out loud, and fill you with hope about the next generation. Yes, it's filled with heartfelt stories and useful gardening information, but the photos, illustrations, and tone of the book are all about having fun, and that's what gardening should always be about.” Doug Oster, Home and Garden Editor, Everybody Gardens, Tribune-Review

On Sale
Jan 22, 2019
Page Count
144 pages

Emma Biggs

About the Author

Emma Biggs and her father Steven Biggs are the co-authors of Gardening with Emma. A 13-year-old with a passion for gardening, Emma shares her kid-focused gardening ideas at events, on radio shows, and on her blog. In 2017, she grew 68 different varieties of tomatoes. Steven is a writer specializing in gardening, farming, and food production, and has published articles in magazines including Trellis, Small Farm Canada, Garden Making, and Edible Toronto. He lectures frequently at gardening events across Canada and blogs at Emma, Steven, and the rest of their family live in Toronto.

Learn more about this author