Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book Review: The Roots of My Obsession

                                                           [Photo from Amazon.com]

Cooper, Thomas C. The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden.  Timber Press

(I was given a tablet computer and it is changing the way I read books.  I got this book as an e-book and, though I am not completely satisfied with the process (and miss holding a real book in my hands) it has been overall an acceptable media.) 

I tend to dislike collections of essays, feeling they were not written spontaneously, but contracted out and assembled for a purpose: to sell a book. Other times, I feel like I am reading something out of context, taken from another, longer essay, and it feels disconnected as I go from essay to essay. I know this criticism is probably unfair, but that is how I feel.  Anyway, I am enjoying some of the essays in this book, especially those of gardeners with whom I am familiar.  I wanted to share with you a few quotes that I liked, found amusing or provocative:

Cooper, p. 9 (e-version) "I was raised on a strain of gardening that combined the minor virtues of engineering, math, Cold War chemistry and internal combustion.  My parents were a part of the victory garden generation....those who had some land (and) naturally grew food and flowers as part of their genetic makeup, not as an exercise in outdoor decorating."

Tony Avent (p. 21, e-version) "I wasn't very popular in high school., where an interest in plants was not something for a guy to admit in public..."

Rosalind Creasy (p. 40 e) "I've also learned that a two-year-old can single out the the ripe cherry tomatoes even though her mother is stymied."

William Cullina (p. 50 e) "Fall is a blend of melancholy, quiet celebration, and anticipation, mixed with a slight, fluttering anxiety.  I am sad to see the chlorophyll drain from the garden...I can also feel already feel the excitement building for next spring."

and one more, just because I share this weirdness:

Page Dickey (p. 62e) "I love to weed.  I realize this is not a universal sentiment, even among gardeners.  But every spring I am reminded how utterly happy I am on all fours, inching along the garden beds, pulling out the culprits, scratching the earth with my three-pronged weeder, enjoying the results as I look behind at my progress."

Happy gardening!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Sooo... there are a whole lot more of you out there. :)