Monday, December 14, 2009

book week: a green thumb

Between today's two contributors, there is more than one green thumb ~ and lucky for us, these ladies have agreed to share a few secrets. How do their gardens grow...?

1) Ms. Wis. ~ she enchants us throughout the year with tales from her Wisconsin garden. Here's what you can find her reading on a rainy day:

* A Gentle Plea for Chaos (1989), by Mirabel Osler
* Earth on Her Hands (1998), by Starr Ockenga
* The Jewel Garden: A Story of Despair and Redemption (2004), by Monty and Sarah Don
* The Painter’s Garden: Design, Inspiration, Delight (2006), edited by Sabine Schulz
* The Secret Garden (1909), by Frances Hodgson Burnett, particularly the 2007 edition from Candlewick Press, with illustrations by Inga Moore

2) home before dark ~ she delights us every day with her witty comments and generous spirit, but she's not an easy woman to find. However when I finally did, she was in the garden:

* Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (1977), and Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (1990), by Michael A. Dirr
* Plants That Merit Attention, Volume I: Trees, and Plants That Merit Attention, Volume II: Shrubs (Garden Club of America, 1984), by Nancy Peterson Brewster and Janet Meakin Poor
* The American Mixed Border (1993), and Further Along the Garden Path: A Beyond-the-Basics Guide to the Gardening Year (1995), by Ann Lovejoy
* The Garden Primer (2003), by Barbara Damrosch
* The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques (1998), by Tracy DiSabato-Aust
* Gertrude Jekyll on Gardening (1964), by Gertrude Jekyll
* Color in my Garden: An American Gardener’s Palette (1990), by Louise Beebe Wilder and Anna Winegar
* Gardening in the Heartland (1992), by Rachel Snyder and Bob Holloway
* And for the winter when you can’t get outside, but you need a garden fix: The Essential Earthman: Henry Mitchell on Gardening (1994), and One Man’s Garden (1999), by Henry Mitchell

postscript from hbd: "I garden in Lawrence, Kansas, Zone 5b-6a. The weather is daunting. I have reverence for anything that grows well here. I grew up in Southern Oklahoma close enough to Texas that Big is almost always better. That, my husband says, explains my addiction to trees. My garden is a work in progress. It is mostly trees and shrubs. I have one border of roses and peonies to make me feel the glory of late spring. But I have come to appreciate the beauty and texture of woody plants. I reduced my list to books I have returned to over and over again. In someway they show my evolution as a gardener. I used to say if my house were on fire, one of the first things I would grab would be Volume I: Trees. I never loan this book out. You want to read my copy? Sit yourself down in my living room, make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need and know that I'll shake you down before you leave! Michael Dirr is the woody plant god. The manual is actually a textbook. He writes with incredible passion and knowledge and a sense of awe and humor. And Henry Mitchell, the late and great, will always have a place in my heart and in my garden."

(top: the cover of the 1911 edition The Secret Garden, and the 2007 edition illustrated by Inge Moore; bottom: Gertrude Jekyll at Deanery Garden, Sonning, Berkshire, after 1901, courtesy of English Heritage)

4 comments:

little augury said...

How wonderful you chased Home down in her garden! What a heady book list- guess we are all invited to Homes for a read in the Trees book, Who brings the wine? I love reading her comments and even more so treasure her comments on my page. I think a "not your auntie EM blog" might be in order for Home or "garden warrior zone 5b-6a".
the photograph of GJ is just perfect for this Kansas wizard. GT

Blue said...

Janet, this is proving to be a fascinating idea of yours, this Book Week. That home before dark is a gardener is very pleasant to hear and her love of woody things is a rare thing. Green gardens where the trees and shrubs are the architecture are marvelous.

home before dark said...

Thanks, Janet for letting me spread the woody word here. And much gratitude for the GT pic. Obviously not in her league, except, perhaps, when it comes to hats.

Anne said...

Thanks to both for some wonderful recommendations! Love the Secret Garden illustrations...perfection!