Seed Libraries and Gardening Resources

Gardening Books Are Just the Start: Seed and Gardening Tool Libraries and More

Have you thought about gardening but don’t know where to start, what to plant, or how to make the most of what you grow? HCPL has you covered with seed libraries and gardening resources! 

You can borrow seeds from a variety of plants at these HCPL locations: 


At these libraries, users can borrow seeds of various plants free of charge, and once the plant has grown, users are encouraged to harvest some seeds and donate them back to the library to share with their community and keep the sustainable cycle going. These programs are a great way to dip your toe into gardening without investing too much cost or materials. In fact, you can even borrow some tools from Evelyn Meador or Baldwin Boettcher Branches such as gloves, rakes, spades, and much more! 

HCPL Nurtures a Community of Gardeners

Seed libraries are also a great way to meet other local gardeners, whether amateurs or pros, that you can share with and learn from. One such way to grow your botanical network is at seed swaps! These are events where patrons are welcomed to exchange seeds or plant clippings with others or the library, and they’re great opportunities to discuss local growing tips and schedules. Katy Branch Library holds a monthly Garden Club on the 2nd Thursday of every month if you’re looking for a regularly scheduled seed swap, but other branches hold them occasionally, so keep an eye on our social media and events page for upcoming swaps. 

An Ever-Growing Collection of Gardening Resources

Can’t make it in person? The HCPL Facebook page has a set of informative gardening videos from past programs as well as an ongoing series in partnership with Harris County Master Gardeners called Green Thumb Gardening. This is an informative series of lectures on different topics with gardening experts and takes place live on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 11am on our Facebook page. You can find the backlog of these videos here on the HCPL Facebook page. Texas A&M also has a wide array of online fact sheets and resources on how to grow plants in Texas that can be found here. 

We also carry a plethora of books to help you start gardening, learn how to harvest, and make the most of your space with indoor gardening! 

The Beginners' Guide to Gardening

Herb Gardening

Texas Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

Gardening Shortcuts

Urban Gardening for Beginners

Easy Gardening for Texas

Better Homes and Gardens Vegetable, Fruit & Herb Gardening

Gardening for Everyone

Container Gardening for Beginners

Sustainable Gardening

Tool Library FAQ

  • Tools are available for borrowing from two HCPL branches: Evelyn Meador Branch Library in Seabrook and Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library @ Mercer Park in north Harris County.

    Tools available at Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library

    Tools Available at Evelyn Meador Branch Library 

    Tools include:

    • Cultivators
    • Gloves
    • Hoes
    • Kneeling pads
    • Loppers
    • Pruners
    • Rakes
    • Shears
    • Shovels 
    • Spades
    • Trowels
    • Weeders
    • Wheelbarrows
  • Anyone with a Harris County Public Library card without blocks on their account can borrow tools. 

    You must sign a Harris County Public Library Gardening Tool Waiver before you can check out tools.  

  • Yes, all tools must be returned to the library they were borrowed from. They must be returned when the library is open.

    Please clean the tools before returning them. Failure to return to the location will result in the loss of your tool borrowing privileges. 

  • You will be charged the tool replacement fee if the item is returned damaged. 

    Tool replacement fees will be charged for any lost items. If the lost material is recovered, You may request a refund within one year of the payment date.