another voice joins me in the ‘garden’

pottingshed_brown-by-andre-jordanWHEN MY FAVORITE DOODLER AND DAYDREAMER, British-born Andre Jordan, let me share an oddball illustration of his with you in June, it was an immediate hit: my third most popular post so far, in fact. Now Andre is living in the American heartland, and besides his weekly doodling gig on BBC.com he’s signed on as a columnist for…you guessed it: A Way to Garden.

I’ve been asked various times this year, in interviews about my own new life, whether I’d have other contributors to this blog, which represents my first act of personal (not corporate) creative expression in far too many years.

“Absolutely not,” I’d say without a second’s reflection. “This is about my voice.”

How someone who five months ago was a total stranger could have me eating those words is not so easy to explain.

Andre and I still have never met, with only blog comments, Skype sessions and emails forming the concrete connection, but this goes deeper:

From the first doodle of his I ever saw, I knew Andre was a bird of a feather.  And you all know how I feel about birds.

Much of the prolific doodling that first drew me to Andre is on his blog A Beautiful Revolution, named one of the Best British blogs of 2007 and praised by the London Times as “brim[ming] with honesty, dry wit and a refreshing lack of schmaltz.”

Andre is also an author, with his first American book, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” due momentarily from Harper Perennial and available for pre-order.

His work can also be found on the BBC disability website Ouch!, where he with raucous tenderness explores a subject that had long been something you just didn’t talk about, like many of Andre’s recurring themes.

Andre, it turns out, is no stranger to the garden: He supplies one of the leading garden picture libraries, GPL, with glorious photographs. In his Thursday column here he’ll explore all of gardening’s facets, dire to delightful, rated PG to R, and he will jump in on comments each week to speak with you.

I keep wondering when Andre’s latest vein of inspiration, his new life in Lincoln, Nebraska, will be put to paper. So far, the reports are good:

“I love it,” says Andre. “And people in the supermarket or on the street talk to me for no reason whatsoever—something that would never happen in the UK. It’s brilliant.”

Please join me and the friendly citizens of Lincoln in giving Andre a proper welcome.


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  1. margaret says:

    Yes, Maria, I like the boys, that’s for sure, whether amphibian or terrestrial. And apparently we have the same taste in men (and food): I got lost in Matt’s tortilla post as well. Batch 4 of applesauce (or was it 5?) yesterday; green tomato and apple mincemeat pie filling starting tomorrow. Careful opening the freezers over here, or you could lose a toe in the landslide.

  2. Maria says:

    You kill me, Margaret! I just wandered over here to find your applesauce recipe… fell into Andre’s arms (web-aphorically speaking) and while being wowed by him discovered “matt” who turns out to be Matt Armendariz and browsed his “what you can put into a tortilla” blog and fell in love all over again. All I wanted was the friggin applesauce and now look at me – besotted over and over again.

    Margaret – you know the cool guys, no question.

  3. ScentScelf says:

    Margaret, you know I’ve been crazy about your blog since I found you months ago. The collaboration with Andre sounds like it will be fun for both of you, and us lucky readers as well. Andre the artist bringing his Smiths/Morrissey quote book sense to Lincoln…well, that’s just plain intriguing.

    Much happiness to all parties involved in this move.

  4. Judy Pulley (Mum-In-Law) says:

    Margaret, Thanks for recognizing such great talent, not that I am partial or anything. We have a huge garden (veggies only) crying out for humor and help plus a cozy tool (or garden) shed in western Washington Andre and Stacey could doodle and be creative in. Your gardening site is wonderful and I will visit often.

  5. margaret says:

    Welcome, Judy Pulley, Mum-in-Law. I am so delighted to “meet” you, and for your encouragement. My sister said this to me the day that Andre’s first doodle appeared: “It’s obvious: He’s family.” She just took one look and he was in. So I guess that makes us all related, part of the extended flock of birds of a feather as I called him. Come back anytime.

  6. andre says:

    Thank you Judy for your lovely words. It really means a lot. Can’t wait to see you. x

    ScentSelf: I cannot tell you how much I love The Smiths.

    Thank you all for being so generous with your welcomes

  7. margaret says:

    This is not the first time The Smiths have come up in the course of my garden blogging, fyi. The Canadian garden blogger YouGrowGirl (aka Gayla Trail) and I have traded Morrissey and Smiths bits on Twitter and email (and maybe even here, cannot recall). I will have to tell her it’s come up again…

  8. ann says:

    Welcome to a fellow Nebraskan.
    Andre, you will love it here.
    Made some wonderful catnip sachets for
    my nieces orange cat for Halloween.
    I did give her chinese lanterns but was told
    they are poison. Are they?

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