about margaret and this website
A WAY TO GARDEN is the latest horticultural incarnation of me, Margaret Roach, birthed in March 2008 with my own words as its primary DNA, mingled with ideas shared in weekly expert interviews. Those conversations are from the companion A Way to Garden public-radio show and podcast, which entered its ninth year in March 2018, and has won praise from “The Guardian” newspaper and multiple medals from Garden Writers of America. In my opinion, you should subscribe free to both blog and podcast right now:
If an in-real-life visit is more what you are looking for, come visit on Garden Conservancy tours or smaller workshop days. (Another way to “visit” is to take one of my webinar classes, which are held mostly in my Hudson Valley, New York, garden’s offseason.)
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 of America, is now a collector’s item (and, newsflash: a fully updated 21st anniversary edition will release March 2019).
People always think it is “Away” to Garden, because I left my fast-lane city career to live in a small rural town, 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 out there.
more about my so-called career
I HAVE BEEN WRITING about gardening for about 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” magazine and later EVP/Editorial Director of her magazines, books and internet.
‘Eat, Pray, Love’ author Liz Gilbert (a keen gardener herself) calls my writing ‘a blessing.’
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.
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 proclaimed up near the logo:
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 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).
no, thanks: no guest or sponsored posts, no freebies
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 accept no free stuff, including no samples (not even a free packet of seeds), nor do I get paid to mention people.
I run ads via the networks of Amazon (where I am also an affiliate) and Google, 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.
more about ‘woo-woo’ (’cause i know you’re wondering…)
WANT TO KNOW MORE about me and my relationship with both sides of the gardening equation, the hands-on and the touchy-feely?
- I do my best to ‘splain the latter aspect in the video above.
- A more comprehensive video (below) aired on PBS stations nationwide on “Growing a Greener World” (as did an episode about my immense love of birds, also below).
- Subscribe (free) to my e-newsletter; the form is up near the top of this page.
- That form also lets you subscribe (free) to my public-radio show and podcast, using iTunes, or Stitcher (past shows are here, if you want to browse first).
- “We” (more than 92,500 of us in 2018) are also a page called “A Way to Garden from Margaret Roach” on Facebook.
- The garden has been open to tours for 20-plus years as part of the national Garden Conservancy Open Days visiting scheme and on other occasions. 2018 details.
- 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.