Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gardening Books (copy)

I love this weather. Our South produces surprisingly short and sporadic warm days in the middle of winter, which can revitalize a wilting soul. In this unseasonable spring, I start to envision the ultimate lawn and garden. My dreams of English roses and hedge mazes may be too grand, as our grounds never become the rosy, green vision.

Nevertheless, that does not stop me from dreaming or looking through new gardening books, to fuel my delusions. I recently thumbed through Publishers Weekly’s “Books and Garden” article, which featured 19 new selections.

The first book speaks volumes to my guilt-ridden, water-withholding, ashamed conscience. I must purchase, 37 Houseplants Even You Can’t Kill, by Mary Kate Hogan. (The title emphasizes the “You” by changing its color) Author Hogan claims she can rid readers of their “black” thumb. The opposite of green thumb, my black thumb is a genetic fault handed down through the maternal side. Imagine my shock when last week, despite my obvious indifference, a geranium bloomed in the house.

What if your guilt surpasses the house and extends into the yard? It is not hard considering; perfect photos bombard us from “home and garden” magazines and television. Author Janice Wells promises to break us free from the “tyranny” with her book, Gin & Tonic Gardener. The book jacket exclaims, “Spirited, funny, and filled to the brim with amusing gardening anecdotes and wisdom.” I imagine Wells’ wisdom as, “Have another G&T and watch as the garden grows,” albeit a little crooked. She may continue, “Pour leftovers on offending weeds.” What leftovers? I will need all the concoction to make my weeds less offensive.

A nice gift for your “lawn ranger” is Lawnscapes: Mowing Patterns to Make Your Yard a Work of Art by David Parfitt. The book promises to teach the art of mowing designs into one’s lawn. Parfitt demonstrates the proper technique to produce checkerboards, hearts, bull’s eyes, Celtic knotwork, etc. Wonder if he discusses the artistic hills one may create when releasing dead houseplants back to the wild?

On a serious note, I would like to tell you about the new reference book, The Plant Finder: The Right Plants for Every Garden by Tony Rodd. This tome, the biggest of the season weighing slightly less than five pounds, offers the owner over 5,000 of the best plants for any zone. In my case it makes a great coaster for the G&Ts and a perfect anvil to pitch at moles.

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