A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Book Club

I admit I procrastinated about reading “My Summer in a Garden”. I didn’t know until I actually had the book in my hands (last week of July!) that it was written in the nineteenth century. Those are my favorite reads. I love getting a firsthand account of life in the past.

As a flower gardener, I’m always interested in what flowers gardeners grew in the past. Although Charles Dudley Warner writes about his veggie garden, it turns out we have a lot in common. I was delighted to read about the toad in his garden. Oh, how I wish I had one in my garden eating pests! We disagree about birds. Perhaps because he was a veggie gardener and I’m a flower gardener. He considered birds pests because they ate his produce. I like them because they consume pests.

He had to deal with some very different “pests” than most gardeners today. At least the ones who garden in my area. We don’t have to worry about cows or chickens wandering into our gardens or boys stealing our produce.

The biggest difference between then and now was a visit from the President. Try to envision what it would be like to have the President visit your garden. The entourage. The Secret Service. The paparazzi. When the President visited Charles Dudley Warner’s garden, he came alone. He toured the garden, enjoyed some liquid refreshment and jokingly offered the job of Head Gardener at the White House to his host.

It’s anecdotes like that that draw me to books written long ago. I can understand why people say that they hate reading about history. Who wants an endless recitation of dates and wars and empires? It’s so much more interesting to read about the every day lives (and gardens) of every day people (and gardeners).


At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Val Webb said...

Thanks for the book review! I am always on the lookout for interesting reading. I'll try to run down a copy of My Summer in a Garden. Meanwhile, please check out my new gardening blog and let me know what you think. It's The Illustrated Garden, at www.valwebb.blogspot.com. Happy gardening!

At 3:28 AM, Anonymous Val Webb said...

Oops, sorry. The domain for the blog is wordpress, not blogspot!

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Carol said...

OldRoses... thank you for joining the garden bloggers book club once again. I am pleased you enjoyed the book and I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it. Next up, garden mysteries. Hope you can join us. (I'm going to update the club post to include a link back to your review).

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

At 1:41 PM, Blogger LostRoses said...

Yep, history brought to life - I'm up for it! Charles Dudley Warner's asides on everyday life are a real window into the past, aren't they?

At 2:23 AM, Blogger Dorothy Guyton said...

Hello fellow gardener,

I am so happy that I found this blog. I am interested in a review of my fiction garden novel. It is a good read and would be enjoyed by the novice gardener and pro alike. Preview and purchase the book at www.bbotw. Gardeners are a tight community and I hope that this friendly community would review my book. I have read several of your reviews and admire your skill. My book is "Diary of a Wannabe Gardener ($9.95), author Dorothy Guyton. Post a review at http://dirt2diamonds.blogspot.com/ You will never know how indebted to you I will be. Happy reading and gardening.


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