Book Reviews

June 2010

Right Rose, Right Placeby Peter Schnieder2009 Storey Publishing: Well written  reference for rose growing by a noted rosarian who grows over 1200 roses on 8 acres in Ohio. Pictures are beautiful, and Peter breaks the decision of which rose is the right one for your garden down into easy to use categories (By type, fragrance, hips, sun/shade exposure, as specimen plants or in border, bedding, climbing and even thorn less). he also gives a list of nurseries to shop and a how-to on planting , care and problem solving. If you can’t find the right kind of rose for your circumstances using this book, then it probably doesn’t exist and you should grow cactus or something

Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as you Grow Older by Sydney Eddison  Lovely book to spend an afternoon with hearing about the author’s challenges and solutions as both she and her extensive garden age. Most of the suggestions were common sense, nothing too enlightening here ( plant shrubs not perennials, hire help etc.) but still a good read for the gentle way she writes about herself, the people and the plants she loves, and the grace with which she is trying to live her life. Might as well start thinking about it……the day is coming for us all!

Jan 15,2011

well you think I never read……but wrongo! I read constantly, just true to self forgot to log the books here

Spent a few weeks devouring Michael Pollans Modern Library Gardening series. In it he had edited a collection of resurrected books on gardening. They are all collections of essays, some arranged by calendar year, some alphabetically by topic , some haphazard according to the authors whim. I have thus far enjoyed everyone one of them. Each author’s voice commenting on what amounts to digging in the dirt in your backyard, is so different and the great fun is the jaunt you take in the garden ,peering  into politics, religion, sex, class and gender struggles, through the foliage. The ones I have read so far are:

Green Thoughtsby Eleanor Perenyi   ( a little to wordy and refernce loaded for me. She is very intelligent and extremely well read but her constant shoutouts and quotes from books I should have but never did read made me feel stupid and her seem a little condescending)

The Gardener’s Year by Karel Capek  ( My favorite so far  for it’s humor, a quality I appreciate above all others)

Old Herbaceous by Reginald Arkell  ( I was sad to be done reading this one, it was like comfy slippers and a glass of wine in written form)

The Gardener’s Bed Book by Richardson Wright

Second Natureby Michael Pollan  (not resurrected ,but informative, insightful and earmarked and highlighted by me over and over again, a great addition to my  bookshelf)’

I have yet to get to We Made a Garden by Margery Fish; In the Land of Blue Poppiesby Kingdon ward,Christopher and Kincaid; or Apprentice to a GardenBy Hadden but I will because I have enjoyed the series so much

I got all of Henry Mitchell’s books for Christmas from Bill. He is hands down my favorite garden writer for his wit, his intelligence, and his practicality. The books are compilations of his writing for a column in the Washington Post.

They are: On Gardening, The Essential Earthman, and One Man’s Garden. I have read and re-read them, and you should too.

Bill also bought me Tracy DiSabato Aust’s book The Well Designed Mixed Garden, although I have not had the chance to peruse it yet. It is more reference-y and winter is for good book under a blanket not research.

Thoughtful Gardening by Robin Lane Fox just went back to the library. Although he is from across the pond and his plant suggestions will all be dead as doornails come November here, I found I agreed with many of his philosophies and found myself nodding in agreement often. He is also a history writer ( another of my interests) so I enjoed our little forays into the past and to destinations worldwide. If he is to be believed, and I imagine his publisher investigated his claims, he has been absolutely everywhere and done just about everything and his writing describes many a fanciful story that in most cases I woldl raise an eyebrow and hiss out a “really dude?” But still warrants a thumbs up from me.

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