My very first official job in life was working as a gardener.

I was just a teenager, but I had the privilege of tending to beautiful flower and vegetable gardens while being mentored by a lovely couple who lived just a short drive away from my family’s farm. They instilled in me a strong work ethic, but also a love for the beauty and peace that a garden can offer. This couple also happens to be avid readers.

As we step into the full swing of summer, with Master Gardener help desks returning to Chaska, Chanhassen and Waconia Libraries, I couldn’t help but pull together a list of garden fiction titles.

May your reading continue to bloom all summer long and beyond at the library.

“The Last Garden in England” by Julia Kelly. Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens' past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

“The Forbidden Garden” by Ellen Herrick. At the nursery she runs with her sisters on the New England coast, Sorrel Sparrow has honed her rare gift for nurturing plants and flowers. Now that reputation, and a stroke of good timing, lands Sorrel an unexpected opportunity: reviving a long-dormant Shakespearean garden on an English country estate. Instinct tells her that the English garden's destiny is entwined with her own, if she can only unravel its secrets.

“The Heirloom Garden” by Viola Shipman. When Abby Peterson moves to Grand Haven, Michigan, with her family — a husband traumatized during his service in the Iraq War and a young daughter searching for stability — they find themselves next door to Iris, and are slowly drawn into their reclusive neighbor's life where, united by loss and a love of flowers, Iris and Abby slowly unearth their secrets.

“The Victory Garden” by Rhys Bowen. As the Great War continues to take its toll, headstrong 21-year-old Emily Bryce is determined to contribute to the war effort. Emily volunteers as a "land girl," tending to the neglected grounds of a large Devonshire estate. It's here that Emily discovers the long-forgotten journals of a medicine woman who devoted her life to her herbal garden.

“The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton. Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace Rutherford, Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell, on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.


Storytime Live on Facebook: 10:30 a.m., Monday mornings; 6:30 p.m. Monday evenings, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings, and 10:30 a.m. on Friday mornings.

Summer Reading Program Virtual Performers: Join us through Aug. 31 on our Carver County Library Facebook video page,, to view all of our Summer Reading Program performers.

Let’s Get Buggy! “Take and Makes”: Monday, July 12 through Friday, July 16. Take storytime to the next level with bug crafts and activities in this special kit. No registration required. 

StoryWalk-Chaska Firemen’s Park: 10:30 a.m.-noon, Tuesday, July 13. Chaska Library and Chaska Parks and Recreation invite you to enjoy a self-guided StoryWalk with your family and take a stroll to read a book. The StoryWalk will be in Fireman's Park downtown Chaska: 3260 Chaska Blvd., Chaska.


Get Crafty with Maren: DIY Bug Repellent Candle Jars: 6:30, Tuesday July 8. Join us for DIY Bug Repellent Candle Jars: Make a votive candle jar that can be used as an alternative to chemical bug repellents.

Master Gardener Help Desks: Chaska Library, 3-6 p.m., Wednesdays, through Sept. 8 and Chanhassen Library, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays, through Sept. 25. Carver/Scott Master Gardeners will help diagnose problems and answer your yard and garden questions. For more information on Carver/Scott Master Gardeners, see

The Loft Literary Center – Writing for the Web: 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, July 14. In this seminar, you’ll learn some key web writing practices like employing hierarchies of information, ensuring short, scannable text, and highlighting content with visual cues. This class was funded by MELSA. Register at

Jodi Edstrom is branch manager for the Chaska Library. For questions about services, contact staff at or reach out to Edstrom directly at 952-227-7603 or