A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Garden Bloggers' Book Club

“Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond with Elizabeth Lawrence”

I have to confess that I never finished this book. I found it to be unreadable. At first I thought it was because she writes of many plants that I cannot grow in my NJ garden. Or perhaps it was because I couldn’t relate to what was blooming in her garden during the winter months when my own gardens are completely bare.

About halfway through the book, I realized that it was the quality of the writing. I was terribly disappointed in the Ms. Lawrence’s writing. Many columns started out well, but it was sadly apparent that she could not figure out how to end them. Other columns were merely laundry lists of plants.

I understood when I began the book that it was a collection of columns written for a newspaper. And I can readily imagine the pressure of having to crank out columns on a regular basis. Unlike a book where one can take one’s time and edit and rewrite until one is satisfied, it is understandable that not every piece written under the duress of a deadline will be a literary gem.

Sadly, I have put the book aside. I enjoyed “Two Gardeners”, an earlier GBBC selection. I’m sure that I would enjoy Ms. Lawrence’s other books. This collection of columns was not my cup of tea.


At 6:46 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Yes, not every column will be a gem, but I found a lot of little gems in several columns.

BTW, I did not attempt to read the book straight through, I dipped in and out of it and hit those topics I was most interested in, and read quickly/skipped the people and plant lists that I wasn't as interested in.

But not every book is for every gardener, right? Maybe you'll enjoy the next book/topic more? I'll announce it in a day or so, maybe tonight!

Thanks for joining in the book club, I've added a link to you from the post.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anthony said...

Lots of newspapers use the inverted pyramid style of a writing an article and all the important content is in the first paragraph. Might be why the author "started out well" but faded.

Thanks for the review, I think I'll skip this one.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Annie in Austin said...

My GBBC was more about Through the Garden Gate then Beautiful at all Seasons but so far I'm enjoying it, Old Roses.

But it took me months and months to mostly finish the Beth Chatto book, which was raved about by other bloggers.

We are a diverse group, it appears!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

At 6:54 AM, Blogger marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.




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