Tag Archives | Diane Ackerman

Margaret Roach’s Backyard Parables



Self-described “garden enthusiast” Margaret Roach, author of the newly released book, The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life, is someone whom I wish lived and gardened near me instead of on the opposite side of the continent. Margaret’s wit and humor entertains with information that’s valuable and insightful. She draws us into the natural world (her world) with vivid metaphors and unforgettable sensory descriptions.

I want you to hear Margaret’s voice for yourself, so excerpts follow. I can do this without violating the copyright because this is a review. But please be respectful of her words; if you share them, do credit her and the book.

Margaret is a former garden editor of Martha Stewart Living and editorial director of Martha Stewart Omnimedia’s magazine, book, and internet division. The New York Times described hers as the “best garden blog.” Thankfully, the envy I feel about that is ameliorated by great relief at not having Margaret’s woodchucks, which make my gophers seem harmless as hamsters.

Margaret writes of a flower-loving, nongardening friend to whom she gave paperwhites one year:
I had the best of intentions, I swear that I did.
     ”Why don’t I have flowers yet?” Erica’s phone call started, a little ashamed and also somewhat panicky, but with just the touch of gift-horse-in-the-mouth undertones. “Why do I just have all this white spaghetti growing up out of the soil?”
Oh dear…and then some. I guess I forgot to tell her which end was up. Continue Reading →

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Great Books for Gardeners

American Meadow Garden

Santa, baby, are you listening? Bring me some reading material to curl up with. Literary nonfiction would be lovely—such as all those books I’ve enjoyed by Susan Orlean, Scott Calhoun, Amy Stewart, and Diane Ackerman. I’ll take a great garden reference tome, too, like The American Meadow Garden by John Greenlee and GGW regular contributor/ace photographer Saxon Holt.

 I’d also be thrilled by one or all of these, recommended by savvy online gardening pals: Continue Reading →

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