A WAY TO GARDEN is the latest horticultural incarnation of me, Margaret Roach, with my own words and photographs (taken here in my Hudson Valley, New York, garden) as its DNA. The site was born March 2008. You can visit 24/7/365 online, or come visit on tour or workshop days.
The blog (which people always think is Away to Garden, rather than A Way, as in my way) is named for a book I wrote early in my garden career, and in the life of my garden. “A Way to Garden” was named best garden book of 1998 by the Garden Writers Association of America, and is now a collector’s item.
I have been writing about gardening for 25 years; in my previous lives I was garden editor at “Newsday” (one of the country’s largest dailies) and then for Martha Stewart, where I was the first garden editor of “Living” and later editorial director of the magazines, books and internet.
I “retired” (but didn’t stop working) on the last day of 2007 (at a very young age, thank you) to my 2.3-acre garden, bordering on the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I walked away from a career and “success” to explore personal creativity again. The book I wrote about dropping out, “And I Shall Have Some Peace There,” was published in February 2011; my next, a garden memoir and handbook called “The Backyard Parables,” came out in January 2013.
A Way to Garden was my first warmup session toward writing those books, and it stuck around, thanks to kudos from The New York Times, Washington Post, Apartment Therapy, Dallas Morning News and others (with lots more about my 2011 book) and to readers who seemed to appreciate my take on the topic, which is simply this, as the logo proclaims:
horticultural how-to and ‘woo-woo.’
- I speak serious botanical Latin, but long ago lost count of how many genera, species and varieties of plants both edible and ornamental grow here.
- I am also an old-fashioned, organic-style gardener and a vegetarian (for 30-plus years), so…
- I put up a sizeable chunk of the food I eat each year. I would have made a good hippie; maybe that is who I am at heart.
- Gardening is not my hobby, it is my spiritual practice and life partner. I hope it will become yours.
- I find most things funny; laughter helps me learn, and I will use it liberally to help you learn, too, and to entertain (which explains the occasional doodles by my friend Andre Jordan).
Other than the doodles, I create everything you see here: writing, most of the photos, and the weekly email newsletter. Even the occasional peach clafoutis. But I could not do it without the help of web designer Ken Smith.
My experiments in “personal creativity” keep expanding. Besides writing “And I Shall Have Some Peace There,” and “The Backyard Parables” I packaged and published my baby sister Marion’s helpful, hilarious how-to manual on first-person writing, based on a sold-out class she’s been teaching for nearly 15 years. Then we sold it to a major publisher!
The listings on my Resources page are places I have actually shopped or otherwise know; I receive no free stuff, including no samples, nor do I get paid to mention people. It’s easier and more ethical that way. In March 2012, along with my friend Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl [dot] com, I began inviting very special companies to become sponsors of our blogs, and whenever we write about them we spell out that they are also advertisers, besides friends and gardening experts.
I love technology, and particularly the platform called WordPress, and I consult with a few select clients a year to help them enjoy the digital medium as much as I do. More about my professional life is on Margaret Roach dot com.
Want to know more about me and my relationship with both sides of the gardening equation, the hands-on and the touchy-feely?
- You can follow @margaretroach on Twitter.
- And “we” are also a fan page called “A Way to Garden from Margaret Roach” on Facebook.
- The garden has been open to tours for 15-plus years as part of the national Garden Conservancy Open Days visiting scheme and on other occasions; the 2013 schedule.
- You can contact me with this form, or at any time by commenting on a post.
I welcome you and hope you find what you are looking for in my albeit very personal approach to the world of plants and the magical forces of nature.