Book reviews

Gardening Books to Dream With

– Posted in: Book reviews
Reading in the Secret Garden

Pity those gardeners in warmer climes who garden all through the winter. Scarcely are the holidays over, and their hellebores are up and crocuses are showing buds. They never get to put up their feet and completely ignore what the plants are doing outside. We cold climate gardeners, on the other hand, can fully and [...]

Apprentice to a Garden: Book Review

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Apprentice to a Garden: A new urban gardener goes wild by Evelyn Hadden is a collection of essays chronicling the development of Hadden's garden and her growth as a gardener. Evelyn starts out as "the omnipotent landowner," but gradually discovers that she doesn't know enough to be a totalitarian dictator. She begins observing more, and [...]

Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: Book Review

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Count me among the legion of Beatrix Potter's fans. I love the illustrations in her children's books, and just as much--perhaps more--I love the language of those stories. It pleased my childish ear--and still does today--that the "friendly sparrows," overhearing Peter's sobs, "implored him to exert himself." And that Mr. McGregor "came up with a [...]

Mentors in the Garden of Life: Book Review

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Gardening teaches you about life, it's often been said, and Colleen Plimpton, in Mentors in the Garden of Life, makes this connection explicit. Each essay in her memoir pairs an influential person in her life with a plant. I always tried to guess how the plant and the person were tied together, and I was [...]

The Roses at the End of the Road: Book Review

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This is Pat Leuchtman. You may know her as the garden blogger Commonweeder. I first met Pat at a garden blogger's fling and chatted with her then and at other garden blogger gatherings. I thought she was a cheerful, conventional New Englander. When I started reading her book, The Roses at the End of the [...]

Slow Flowers: Book Review

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Debra Prinzing's latest book, Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm, started as a challenge to herself to use only seasonal, locally grown floral elements in her weekly bouquets. (From my perspective that's two challenges in one, because with the many demands on my time, putting together a [...]

The Backyard Parables: Book Review

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"A writer who gardens is sooner or later going to write a book about the subject," opined Eleanor Perenyi. Certainly there is a meditative aspect to many gardening chores that lends itself to interior dialogue. I have had conversations with myself, or with a faraway friend, as I was pulling weeds or raking leaves, "speaking" [...]

New Gardens for Cold Climate Gardening

– Posted in: Acquisitions, Book reviews, Hardscaping and Projects, New House, New Gardens

We. Are. MOVING!!! After 21 years, 9 months, 11 days* in the same location, Purdyville is relocating twenty minutes further out to the middle of nowhere. We are just about doubling our floor space, with 167% more bedrooms and 250% more bathrooms. Total acreage will be less than we currently have, but, trust me, there [...]

Gardening With Tulips: Book Review

– Posted in: Book reviews

I have clay soil and several kinds of rodents in my garden, and I'd pretty much given up on growing tulips, but Gardening with Tulips by Michael King is making me reconsider. Not just because of the gorgeous color photos on every page, but because it's filled with specific advice on using tulips as an [...]