Potting Shed Review: The Founding Gardeners

The Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf takes you into the lives of  the framers of our country from the unique and intimate perspective of their lives as gardeners and farmers.

Click to head over to Amazon!
Click to head over to Amazon!

I received The Founding Gardeners as a gift from someone who is keenly aware of my love of gardening and history.

When Mr. G and I go on long car rides we choose a book and I read it to him as we drive. Last week we traveled to Tennessee so we had lots of reading thyme. We are now halfway through the book but I couldn’t wait to tell you about it!

This book is filled with stories of the founders separately as gardeners and weaves their amazing love for all things gardening through their friendships as well as the work they did in establishing our country. Can you say “heated debate!”

These men truly found pleasure, renewal and inspiration from their gardens just like we do!

While it was so fun to read the details of their garden pursuits, I also found a renewed interest in this particular part of history and all the details involved in getting our country off to a good start! I developed a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices these men made. Their work in most cases took them far away from the families, gardens and farms they loved–and for long periods of time!

But, it wasn’t all constitution and tea parties. There were lively conversations on subjects like manure … whether or not to use, when to use and how to use! I can just imagine what they would have thought of Annie’s MooPooTea.

Check it out. I think you will love it too.

Potting Shed Review: Two New Books

As much as I love and look forward to spring, I do enjoy the slower pace of winter that comes after Christmas and allows more time for reading. Something warm to drink, a fire in the fireplace and a good book. Yes, I can do that while I wait for spring … just not too long!

I recently purchased two Christmas presents from me to me that are sure to make a big difference in my gardening experience this winter.

Book #1

Sleep, Creep and Leap by Benjamin Vogt
http://deepmiddle.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/BRVogt

First of all, don’t you just love the cover!

Benjamin Vogt is a poet, essayist, gardener and blogger.

This book is a memoir of three years in his garden. … beautifully and thoughtfully written.

On getting started he writes this,

“It’s late morning already, and we’ve finally made it to the new house. In two weeks we will move in, married on 7/7/7, but until then–and before the sod gets laid–my financee and I are here to spread mulch. 20 yards.”

I so get that! And, if you are a gardener, I suspect you do to. I look forward to having the time to dive into this book!

Book #2

Yes, You Can! by Daniel Gasteiger
http://www.smallkitchengarden.net
https://twitter.com/#!/cityslipper)

My mother canned most everything we ate from the super huge garden we grew. She had an amazingly green thumb and hated to see anything go to waste.

I have her green thumb but don’t grow very many vegetables. I spend most of my gardening time  growing roses and their companions…. So, to date, I do not “can.”  Armed with Daniel’s encouragement and easy to use tips plus a few trips to my friendly farmer’s market, I plan to add canning to my 2012 list of things to do. I bet my mom will be smiling!

The pages of this book are amazing. Pictures and step by step instructions. When I asked Daniel about the book (we are Twitter friends), he said he wrote the book as though he was in the kitchen giving a demonstration. Looks easy…. wish me luck!

Do you have any encouraging words regarding canning?

Potting Shed Review: Down the Garden Path

A book I can read over and over is Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols.

The very British Beverly will pull you into his world (1930‘s England) of gardening and eccentric neighbors and make you fall as in love with his garden as he is. If you are a gardener and haven’t read one of Beverley Nichols’ books, well let’s just say you should go to Amazon this minute and find one. Most are out of print but you’ll find them. It’s worth the effort. Don’t just take my word for it…Other reviews…

This semiautobiographical story of Nichols’ first bumbling efforts at transforming a neglected property into a garden, was an immediate success and still rings true with amateur gardeners today. -Lori D. Kranz, Bloomsbury Review

Nichols has a wicked sense of humor. I highly recommend this book as a means of relaxing after a hard day and having a good laugh. -Bobbie Schwartz

Lucky for us he was a prolific writer and there is much to read! Enjoy!