Margaret Roach’s new edition of her classic book A Way to Garden is out and it makes for a wonderful reading experience. Both the writing and photos are beautiful.
Ms. Roach – really, she’s so approachable from her podcast to her blog to her book that I think of her as Margaret – gardens in upstate New York. Can gardeners from other regions, such as Texas or California, benefit from her experience? Yes, we can, with pleasure. Newbie gardeners might learn more from the book than seasoned ones, but there are great tips and reminders for everyone.
Chapters are broken into two-month sections. The first chapter, for example, is called Conception, January & February. Some of her garden photos in this section have snow, which some of us rarely or never see. But her topics in this chapter range from seed catalogs to garden design to taxonomy (she calls it Taxonomy Lite) to botanical Latin to seed viability and much, much more. That’s only one chapter.
She’s just so passionate about gardening.
For more information, so much great information, check out Margaret’s website: https://awaytogarden.com/
I plot and plan. I work under dangerous conditions. I am frequently under assault. At times, I might drop everything and run for cover. I strive to work towards the greater good.
Gardening in southeast Texas can be brutal. Heat, humidity, and potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes are problems for more than half the year and a dangerous combination in summer. That’s to say nothing of fire ants and other biting, stinging insects. Snakes, too, although they only make a rare appearance in my little garden. Poison ivy and oak are common and birds sow both generously.
Despite some uncomfortable conditions, I feel very protective of the wild in my garden. It’s important to know friend from foe, for example, venomous from nonvenomous snakes and even then, it’s often not necessary to engage. As for the bugs, it is not fine with us to hurt the good with the bad. Pesticides are banned. So are herbicides. Our beds, whether food or ornamental, are organic. And while our garden isn’t entirely native, we do have plenty of native plants that please the local wildlife as well as ourselves.
While every garden is different, they all offer challenges, pleasures, time with nature. Much like people, they have their good days and bad days, high seasons and low; and they can all be fun and beautiful if you love them enough.