as I prepare for a new book, win my first!

I’VE BEEN IN THE STUDIO, recording my next book as an audiobook (yes!), editing video slideshows to accompany it, and more. The process is so different from the one nearly 15 years ago, when I published “A Way to Garden,” the book I named this site for a decade later. It made me sentimental, and though it’s not quite time to shout out the next book (“The Backyard Parables,” due January 15), why not toast the original with two precious copies, in a new giveaway?

Like my next book will, “A Way to Garden” (published 1998) celebrated both sides of the garden equation: horticultural how-to and woo-woo, or both the practical and philosophical.

some ‘woo-woo’ excerpts from ‘a way to garden’

how to enter to win the book

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO to enter to win one of two collectible copies I’ve stashed away to share: Comment below, telling me how long gardening has captured your heart.

I’ve been at it about 30 years–and next year I’ll celebrate 25 years of writing about the subject for national publications (first at “Newsday” newspaper in Long Island and New York, and later as garden editor at “Martha Stewart Living”). My 25th anniversary year seems a fitting time for a new garden book, right?

Don’t want to confess how long you’ve been in love with the garden? That’s fine–just say “count me in,” and you’ll be officially entered. Two lucky winners will be chosen at random after entries close at midnight Thursday, November 1. Good luck to all!



  1. Sue says:

    Since I helped my grandfather plant tomatoes in our tiny back yard, long before Internet, cell phones and Netflix. What a gift he passed along to me!

  2. Jackie says:

    Well, I think I have been in love with gardening since I was a little girl playing in my grandmother’s flower garden….. And – lets just say it was a long time ago….

  3. minerva says:

    I was 10 when my mother sent us, her 3 kids, in the garden for harvesting Cosmos seeds. For the next year, she said.
    We did our best and filled a big box with seeds -enough, I suppose, for a huge Cosmos farm. Meanwhile, my mother had a peaceful hour…
    We were so proud!
    Next year – it was 42 years ago – my lifetime growing passion for gardening began, with sowing (part of!) those Cosmos seeds.
    Ever since, gardening became a continuous adventure of descovering, learning and being constantly enchanted.

  4. Elizabeth F says:

    Oh, let’s see. My grandma had a huge garden and I would pick stuff with her, can it. My mother, having grown up with that huge garden and being rebellious by nature had one tomato plant per summer. But she was very handy with flowering shrubs, flowers. I had window gardens in various apartments until we bought our first house in 1985 where we had a do-able sized garden for vegetables, window boxes and beds for flowers. Our 2nd and present house came with a huge backyard vegetable garden and all kinds of flowering trees and shrubs and perennial beds. I plant annuals in various pots around the house. My middle daughter and her husband have a garden at their house and my son and his girlfriend had a plot in the community garden. So it has been a long time.

  5. My love of and connection to gardening is tied in a very “woo woo” way to my Father’s Mother. She passed away at an early age two years before I was born back in 1954. Because Mom, Dad and I stayed on the homestead where my Dad grew up, I lived and played in the garden of a Grandmother I have never known. My Dad loved her dearly and could seldom speak of her because it was just to hard for him, so I was never told much about her. To this day I can walk in my mind through the very large vegetable garden, the drifts of daffodills spreading out into a meadow, and the tiny woodland bower carpeted with forget-me-nots that was created my Grandmother in the middle of 40 acres of Northwest woods. My own gardening efforts seem very small compared to what she did with so little money and time.

  6. margaret says:

    ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED. Thanks to all of you for your stories of garden love (and in some cases frustration — I know both sides of the relationship, too!).

    You may continue to chime in, but the winners were chosen at random using random.org, and notified by email. They are: Burndette and Greenglasses. Congratulations!

  7. Christine Reid says:

    I first tried to garden when I was about 10 years old. it was pathetic. I didn’t know the first thing and there was no one able to help me. The point is, I kept trying and now, many years later, gardening is one of the biggest parts of my life!

  8. Di Jones says:

    Count me in! Just had my small back yard soil amended and the bones planted – so now I can turn my thumbs green! Gardening has had my interest for many, many years and this new project has many fun possibilities! I always am excited to learn – even at almost 60!

  9. kim says:

    I was an army beat for 22 years and had aunts, uncles and a great aunt who had vegetable gardens. Every
    visit, we were treated to fresh vegetables and pies. My great aunt and I would gather pecans and she would bake me a pecan pie.
    When we were able, my parents also had a vegetable garden, either in the ground or containers. My husband and I garden

  10. Angie Miller says:

    I am brand new to gardening! I started my first garden two years ago but we moved last year so I wasn’t able to start my garden at my new house. So this is the year. I’m really excited, and a little nervous that I’ll mess it all up! I would love any help I can get!

  11. Cathy Hackert says:

    I can’t remember a time where I haven’t been a gardener! There are photos of toddler me helping Grandpa in his gardens. I am 58 now. One of the joys of buying a home was the prospect of my very own gardens. One of the first things I planted was a rose bush from Grandpa’s garden in the Bronx after he passed away in 1988. It lived here in Ballsron Spa for about 3 years- it was too cold here. We have a photo of it as a mature plant from 1956, so it lived a long life- like Grandpa, who made it to a vibrant 93! And I now host about 50 rosebushes!

  12. Kathy Fober says:

    Since I’m a part of the over 60 crowd and I grew up on a farm in Iowa, I have been gardening for over 50 years. My Mom and I canned and froze everything we grew on the farm. I’m so glad she taught me these skills and I didn’t appreciate that until I was older. I have continued to add to that knowledge by reading everything I can get my hands on. I can’t wait to get out there again this spring.

  13. Susan Nunn says:

    I used to help my mother garden, beginning probably 50 years ago. It was then that I found the smell of the dirt so intriguing and learned that telling the weeds from the flowers, and pulling them out – being sure to “get the roots’ – was so satisfying. She knew all the “big names” of flowers; and I learned so much from her. Raising a family and working full-time have kept my gardening at a minimum for far too long.

  14. Karen says:

    As a young child I went out with my Father and watched him plant seeds, and bulbs in the Yard. He thought me to Garden. In his last years, he got on his knees and planted more tulips in his yard. Leaving a legacy of himself. He loved flowers. He died shortly after that. When spring came, my Fathers tulips came up and we knew it was because of our Dad was a gadenwr and had tought us. What a beautiful legacy he left us. Every since then, I have been gardening. First veg gardening and now flower gardening and about 5 tomato plants. I find so much peace in my garden, knowing tha my Father is watching over me and guiding me. Tank you Dad. I am so conten in the garden. Life is good.

  15. Sharon Desilets says:

    I have loved gardening since the age of four or five, which means this love affair has been going on for over a half century.

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