A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Book Club

My company sent me to a seminar in Manhattan earlier this month. The seminar, on management techniques, was excellent. The commute was a nightmare. I am accustomed to just hopping into my car and driving for 20 minutes during non-rush hours (I work from 4 PM to midnight). For three days I was forced to endure two hours of trains and taxis each way. Compounding my misery was the weather. 14 F (-10 C) each morning as I stood shivering on an exposed train platform, hurriedly changing trains in Newark and then standing in line outside of Penn Station waiting for a cab. 24 F (-4 C) when I made the reverse trek back to New Jersey each evening.

I had anticipated the long journey. I checked with the company who was giving the seminar to make sure a laptop was not necessary for the class. I wanted to travel light. No laptop, no briefcase, just a small handbag containing my Blackberry for email along with the usual stuff we women can’t go anywhere without. I also needed something to read on the train. The Gardener's Year, the March selection for the Garden Bloggers' Book Club was the perfect size to fit into my purse.

It is also the perfect topic for a gardener, unable to garden due to weather and working conditions. It is the perfect format for a commuter. The chapters are short and each can stand on their own. The author's lighthearted look at the wonders and disasters of gardening kept a smile on my face despite the cold and long hours.

I was particularly struck by his assertion that a gardener's spring is actually in the fall. How true! How many hundreds of bulbs did I plant last fall? How many perennials divided, planted and transplanted? Fall is the time to rectify mistakes. Plants are moved. Beds are re-arranged or even created. Wishlists are begun of plants, seeds and bulbs in anticipation of the catalogs that will be overflowing my mailbox during the winter months. I have always thought of the fall as the end of the growing season. It's not. It's full of beginnings not endings.


At 12:30 PM, Blogger Rosengeranium said...

Reading is equal to gardening in my world. I have to look up Garden Bloggers' Book Club.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Old Roses... you are the first to post a review. Thank you! I'm not quite finished reading it, but what I've read so far, I like.


At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Genie said...

Old Roses, I loved this post -- you're right -- this was the perfect tome to carry on a subway train. I meant to come by and comment when you posted it, but this is one of the things that makes the book club so fun -- there's the round-up post at the end of the month.

Since I'm almost exclusively a veggie gardener, it's hard for me to think of Fall as a beginning. But I think this year, I might aim for a little shift in perspective.

:-) Genie

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Kate said...

This was such a good read. The comment about autumn beginning with the fading of the first snowdrop was a novel way of looking at things.

I enjoyed the book for the range of emotions it brought out in me ... and how gardeners share many characteristics in common no matter the century.


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