about margaret and this website
A WAY TO GARDEN is the latest horticultural incarnation of me, Margaret Roach, with my own words and photographs (often taken here in my Hudson Valley, New York, garden) as its primary DNA, mingled with images from the work of my expert weekly radio guests. The site was born March 2008. You can visit 24/7/365 online, or come visit on tour or workshop days. Or listen to my public-radio podcast. which entered its eighth year in March 2017 and has won praise from “The Guardian” newspaper and mutiple medals from Garden Writers of America.
The website is named for a book I wrote early in my garden career, and in the life of my garden. “A Way to Garden,” named best book of 1998 by the Garden Writers Association of America, is now a collector’s item. People always think the website is called “Away” to Garden, because I left my fast-lane city career to live here, rather than “A Way,” as in my way (but not the only way). Nope; four words–and the only way I can offer you about how it all works.
I have been writing about gardening for nearly 30 years. In my previous lives, I was garden editor at “Newsday” newspaper (one of the country’s largest dailies) and then for Martha Stewart, where I was the first garden editor of “Living” and later EVP/Editorial Director of her 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,” in January 2013.
‘Eat, Pray, Love’ author Liz Gilbert (a keen gardener herself) calls my writing ‘a blessing.’
A Way to Garden the website was my warmup for writing those books, and it stuck around, thanks to kudos from “The New York Times,” “Washington Post,” “People” and “More” magazines and others, and to readers who seemed to appreciate my take, which is simply this, as the logo proclaims:
I’m all about the 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 nearly 40 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, many of the photos, and the weekly email newsletter. Even the occasional peach clafoutis. But I could not have done it without the help of web designer Ken Smith. We made the website years ago together.
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. I run ads via the networks of Google and Amazon (where I am also an affiliate), and also invite very special companies to become blog sponsors, and if I write about them I spell out that they are also advertisers, besides friends and fellow 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?
- A video of me on “Growing a Greener World,” which aired on PBS affiliates nationwide, is at the bottom of the page (and a second episode, about my immense love of birds, is just above).
- Subscribe (free) to my e-newsletter, by entering your email at the top or bottom of any website page, near the friendly frog.
- Subscribe (also free) to my public-radio show and podcast, using iTunes, or Stitcher (all the past shows are here, if you want to browse first).
- “We” (more than 92,000 of us in 2017) are also a page called “A Way to Garden from Margaret Roach” on Facebook.
- The garden has been open to tours for 20 years as part of the national Garden Conservancy Open Days visiting scheme and on other occasions.
- 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.