The Mission of the Horticultural Reference Library at Brookside Gardens is to be a resource for Brookside Gardens and Montgomery County Parks staff, the citizens of Montgomery County, and any other individual interested in learning about the science and art of Horticulture (Adopted 1997).
The Library’s General Collection is a great place to find out more information about our garden features at Brookside Gardens, including the Aquatic Gardens, Azalea Gardens, Conservatories, Perennial Gardens, Gude Garden, Rose Garden, Trial Garden, Viburnum Garden, Winter Garden, and Woodland Gardens.
The Library houses a collection of approximately 7,000 volumes on plants and gardening for adults and children. It is a reference collection; therefore books are not lent to the public.
The Library also subscribes to approximately 40 periodicals and receives newsletters from local plant societies and garden clubs. A file of nursery catalogs for seeds, plants, and gardening supplies is updated regularly.
In addition, library patrons and website visitors can search our Living Plant Collection to find the location and source of plant material found here at Brookside Gardens and McCrillis Gardens.
The Library is staffed Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (or by appointment) by volunteer librarians ready to help you find answers to your plant questions.
After library hours, visitors can submit plant and gardening questions to the Information Desk and will receive an answer by phone or email.
Our Children’s Section is a great place to sit down and enjoy some quiet story time with your young ones.
The library coordinates a partnership with a weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) distribution. You’ll find many great resources to expand your fruit and vegetable fluency. Our library has a wonderful selection of books on Edible Landscaping for everyone from the backyard hobbyist to the professional grower.
Our CSA has been put on hold due to parking lot construction but will resume as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact the library for more information.
Visit our helpful Master Gardener Plant Clinics with your plant and garden questions! Master Gardeners are a great resource for finding solutions to your garden pest and disease problems. They also offer excellent advice on plant selection and placement for new and seasoned gardeners, deer resistant gardening, shade gardening, gardening for pollinators, or any gardening inquiry you may have.
At Brookside Gardens, plant clinic hours are:
In the gardens, with a little sleuthing, you will find three Little Free Libraries. Little Free Libraries are located in the Conservatory, Woodland Walk, and Children’s Garden. See if you can find all three! The rules of these little libraries are simple: give a book, take a book. These whimsical freestanding structures are a great way to create community using your front yard or garden space. Watch this video for a great explanation of how Free Little Libraries work!
Brookside Gardens is a member of The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries.
The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, Inc. (CBHL) is the leading professional organization in the field of botanical and horticultural information services.
The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, Inc. (CBHL) believes in the critical importance of collecting, preserving, and making accessible the accumulated knowledge about plants for present and future generations.
Therefore, CBHL provides an organizational framework and an active forum for institutions and individuals concerned with fostering the advancement of botanical and horticultural information and information services.
Plant Information Online is a great tool for sourcing plant material. Use Plant Information Online to discover sources in 1003 North American nurseries for 90007 plants, find 301789 citations to 181088 plants in science and garden literature, link to selected websites for images and regional information about 18094 plants, and access information on 2769 North American seed and nursery firms.
Plant Information Online is a free service of the University of Minnesota Libraries.