Category Archives: books

keep on planting

image of Iris reticulata from Wikipedia Commons Collections of Virginia Woolf’s copious letters and diaries have sustained me through some dreary, uninspiring times. By turns bitchy and transcendent, but always dependably filled with trenchant and unflinching observations of her life … Continue reading

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summer read: The Bold Dry Garden

Yes, this book on the making of The Ruth Bancroft Garden came out and was purchased by me last fall, but I’ve only recently sat down to read it cover to cover. The Bold Dry Garden; Lessons from The Ruth … Continue reading

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reprising a 2010 visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden

(Ms. Bancroft is celebrating her 108th birthday this month — yes, that’s not a typo — and we’re all awaiting the upcoming launch later this fall of the book chronicling the making of her garden The Bold Dry Garden.) If … Continue reading

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planting details at the Reid garden

I went through my Reid garden photos again, looking for clear examples of the subtly layered plant communities that rose up around my feet as I followed the paths, scanning the garden like a hungry predator, looking down then quickly … Continue reading

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visiting Ms. Fish’s garden

In 1993, when my boys were 5 and 10, we took our first vacation without them. It was a big emotional deal for all of us to be apart some 10 days, but I needed to see if there really … Continue reading

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Wednesday clippings 4/15/15 (water on the brain)

Finally, a chance to spend some time with the blog again. There’s been lots of reading to catch up on, after the guv dropped that bombshell. (Pass the almonds.*) One of the best sources of information I’ve found was right … Continue reading

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weeds find a way

This charming children’s book I was sent to review months ago has reacquainted me with the transformative power of weeds. This is a wonderful subject for a children’s book. Weeds are often a child’s first gateway to the natural world. … Continue reading

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Patrick Blanc in “Contemporary Designers’ Own Gardens”

I’ve been scanning this book by Barbara Baker since December and haven’t come near to finishing it. There are two reasons to stop reading a book; either because you find it uninteresting or because you find it too interesting. Too … Continue reading

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“Gardens: An Essay” by Robert Pogue Harrison (reposted from 10/7/11)

I’m more than a little overexcited at the prospect of hearing Professor Harrison speak at the latest iteration of Natural Discourse entitled “Culture & Cultivation,” to be held October 10, 2013, in Berkeley, California. The previous Natural Discourse programs were … Continue reading

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I will be forever indebted to *Eric Liu and Nick Hannauer for coining the word “Gardenbrain” in their op-ed in the 7/10/12 edition of The New York Times “The Machine and the Garden.” I’ve always had one. Turns out our … Continue reading

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