The Roots of My Obsession features thirty essays from the most vital voices in gardening, exploring the myriad motives and impulses that cause a person to become a gardener. For some, it’s the quest to achieve a personal vision of ultimate beauty; for others, it’s a mission to heal the earth, or to grow a perfect peach. The essays are as distinct as their authors, and yet each one is direct, engaging, and from the heart.
For Doug Tallamy, a love of plants is rooted first in a love of animals: “animals with two legs (birds), four legs (box turtles, salamanders, and foxes), six legs (butterflies and beetles), eight legs (spiders), dozens of legs (centipedes), hundreds of legs (millipedes), and even animals with no legs (snakes and pollywogs).” For Rosalind Creasy, it’s “not the plant itself; it’s how you use it in the garden.” And for Sydney Eddison, the reason has changed throughout the years. Now, she “gardens for the moment.”
As you read, you may find yourself nodding your head in agreement, or gasping in disbelief. What you’re sure to encounter is some of the best writing about the gardener’s soul ever to appear. For anyone who cherishes the miracle of bringing forth life from the soil, The Roots of My Obsession is essential inspiration.
In Gardening for a Lifetime, Sydney Eddison draws on her own forty years of gardening to provide a practical and encouraging roadmap for scaling back while keeping up with the gardening activities that each gardener loves most. Like replacing demanding plants like delphiniums with sturdy, relatively carefree perennials like sedums, rudbeckias, and daylilies. Or taking the leap and hiring help -- another pair of hands, even for a few hours a week, goes a long way toward getting a big job done. Or maybe it makes sense to get rid of high-maintenance trees, shrubs, or perennials.
This edition features a new chapter in which Sydney's struggles with hip and back problems
force her to walk the walk. As a friend of hers says, "Last summer you wrote the book. Now, I'm happy to
see that you've read it." Gentle, personable, and practical, Gardening for a Lifetime will be welcomed by all gardeners looking to transform gardening from a list of daunting chores into the rewarding, joy-filled activity it was meant to be.
Few explore the reasons why gardening becomes central to so many people's lives.
In Garden Voices, Carolyn Rapp explores the relationships of women with their gardens, revealing sources of joy that go far beyond the pleasure of harvesting flowers, herbs or vegetables.
As the 12 women tell their stories, readers will share the heartache and triumph set within plots of lovingly cultivated land.
Everyone who reads Garden Voices will hear a whisper of themselves in the words of these creative, courageous, wise women.
This is not just a book for people who love gardens; it's for people who love stories.
Now the author/artist/gardener describes his making of Madoo in a book that is as charming and entertaining as it is enlightening. Dash’s artist's sense --or senses -- of the movement of air and the effects of light and color suffuse all his writings, and show us new ways to look at our own gardens.
As with Henry Mitchell's books, one learns more from reading these essays than from a dozen how-to books. And whether we like to make gardens or simply to look at them, Dash has given us a book to keep by the bedside, where we can read and reread our favorite pieces ("Fairies"? "Manuring"? "The Name of the Rose"? "The Garden Tour"? Too many to list!) over and over again.
These are personal stories, thoughts, and ideas about the "perfect" garden interspersed with humorous, imagined conversations with Mother Nature herself. As he works in his West Coast garden, choosing wild roses over the fancy hybrid teas, and discarding manmade hybrids and cultivars in favour of the charm and simplicity of peonies, hellebores, and tulips as they grow in the wild, Terry learns to welcome and encourage happy accidents, greatly reducing the work and effort required to maintain order (as most gardeners seek to do), and instead embracing a substantial measure of disorder.
The perfect garden, he discovers, respects both Mother Nature’s demands—integrating endemic plants, choosing natural species and varieties—and the gardener’s personality—expressing her own taste and creativity, and rich in private memories. This is a light-hearted and witty collection of reflections that will appeal to gardeners everywhere.
Lawrence exchanged plants and gardening tips with everyone from southern “farm ladies” trading bulbs in garden bulletins to prominent regional gardeners. She corresponded with nursery owners, everyday backyard gardeners, and literary luminaries such as Katharine White and Eudora Welty. Her books, including A Southern Garden, The Little Bulbs, and Gardens in Winter, inspired several generations of gardeners in the South and beyond.
The columns in this volume cover specific plants, such as sweet peas, hellebores, peonies, and the bamboo growing outside her living-room window, as well as broader topics including the usefulness of vines, the importance of daily pruning, and organic gardening. Like all of Lawrence’s writing, these columns are peppered with references to conversations with neighbors and quotations from poetry, mythology, and correspondence. They brim with knowledge gained from a lifetime of experimenting in her gardens, from her visits to other gardens, and from her extensive reading.
Lawrence once wrote, “Dirty fingernails are not the only requirement for growing plants. One must be as willing to study as to dig, for a knowledge of plants is acquired as much from books as from experience.” As inspiring today as when they first appeared in the Charlotte Observer, the columns collected in Beautiful at All Seasons showcase not only Lawrence’s vast knowledge but also her intimate, conversational writing style and her lifelong celebration of gardens and gardening.
The Telegraph has long enjoyed the closest association with gardeners. Indeed, as the newspaper of choice for the counties and the shires, it revels in the glory and variety of Britain’s horticultural heritage, whether celebrating the most renowned gardens, like Great Dixter, or extolling the tart virtues of rhubarb.
For gardening spans a vast spectrum. Variously hobby, art form, industry and, on occasion, cause of social unrest, it encompasses the annual spectacle of the Chelsea Flower Show, Vita Sackville-West’s legendary White Garden at Sissinghurst, and the pursuit of prize-winning pumpkins. And while the Telegraph’s weekend supplements might publish advice on growing asparagus or figs, the letters pages bristle with feuds and controversies at the RHS.
Whatever form it takes, few things could be more central to the world of the Telegraph reader than the garden. Which is why the paper has always attracted the best writers on the subject: from the experts of today, such as Stephen Lacey, Mary Keen, Sarah Raven and Bunny Guinness, through great sages of yesteryear, like Fred Whitsey, Denis Wood and Rosemary Verey, to the more esoteric musings of Germaine Greer, Roy Strong and W. F. Deedes. All are collected here in this compendious and endlessly fascinating anthology, compiled by eminent green-fingered scribe Tim Richardson.
As varied and colourful as a traditional herbaceous border at the height of summer, ?Of Rhubarb and Roses is the perfect book for an afternoon’s reading in a deckchair, as the shadows lengthen across that newly mown lawn./div