my book 'blog tour,' part 2: giveaways galore!

the backyard parables coverEVERY BOOK NEEDS a proper blog tour in this virtual world we live in, and the one for “The Backyard Parables” is having a rousing Week 2, including these eight lively new stops and book giveaways galore.

a podcast and an excerpt

All Things Plants: It was our mutual friend Dan Long of Brushwood Nursery (gardenvines.com) who introduced us, and I am so grateful to know All Things Plants’ founder Dave Whitinger. He’s in Texas and I’m not—but the common threads we always find when we get together spell kindred spirit. I was the guest on his popular podcast this week (do you subscribe already?).

Beekman 1802 Boys:
One half of “The Amazing Race”-winning, goat-farming, cheese-making Beekman 1802 Boys was my colleague at Martha Stewart, and we keep in touch across the rural New York State counties between here and there about our post-Martha country adventures. Thanks to Brent Ridge (and equally to Josh Kilmer-Purcell) for this lovely book shout-out. (And when the goats freshen late next month, guys: Send milk!) More news to come soon from me and the Beekman Boys, but for now, I’ll leave you hanging. Horrible, aren’t I?

6 giveaways to enter!

Garden Smackdown: I met Andrew Keys when he bravely contacted me to ask for some of my Aralia plants a few years ago—even though we’d never met. Daring, huh? He’s that kind of guy, a true plantaholic, and now he’s an author of the recent Timber Press title “Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?” (maybe the best title for a plant book ever). He asked me five tough questions (and is hosting a book giveaway).

Our Little Acre: Ohio is home to Kylee Baumle (and her family, flock of chickens and 10 cats—don’t tell my Jack!). She’s an author and newspaper columnist and book reviewer for “Horticulture” magazine, and she took time out to post this review and book-giveaway for “The Backyard Parables.” Thanks, Kylee.

In the Garden Online: Midwestern gardeners probably know and rely on Colleen Vanderlinden’s In the Garden Online, as do those everywhere who find her answers on About.com, TreeHugger, and MotherEarthNews, where she’s a columnist, too. Whew! Colleen managed to find time to do this great Q&A (and is offering books as further incentive to go say a proper hello).

Rebecca Sweet’s Harmony in the Garden: I love visiting Northern California-based garden designer and author Rebecca Sweet’s website because of its yin-yang structure: The homepage is called Harmony in the Garden, where you can dig into her professional portfolio of gardens, but the blog tucked inside it is Gossip in the Garden (Harmony’s “chattier side,” the subheadline confesses).  Needless to say you’ll find me here, over on the less-formal portion, where you can also win a book (and see the craziest ice photos ever).

Marion Roach Smith: I don’t need to tell you, probably, how I met my baby sister, Marion…but she’s got a story about us (one of many!) and a five-book giveaway in support of the cause of the greater family good, and especially the good word of memoir writing. That’s what she has taught for about 15 years, and written herself for longer. Go say hello, and enter to win (or ask her about her classes and private writing help).

Nitty Gritty Dirt Man: I think it was Kevin Loud’s “screen name” that enticed me to first click over to his “Nitty Gritty Dirt Man” blog. What’s not to like about a guy who announces “Margaret Roach Week” on his website? I mean, with a countdown calendar and everything. Even a book giveaway, coming Saturday the 26th.

last week’s blog-book-tour stops

A Garden for the House: Kevin Jacobs’s literal “garden for the house” is not far from me, just across the county we both live in. And it’s here, on his blog.

Martha Moments: I’ve known Toronto-based blogger Andrew Ritchie since my Martha Stewart days. No surprise, since his site is called Martha Moments, and I had a few of those myself. Andrew’s beautiful look at my new book.

Anne Kreamer: Author Anne Kreamer is, as I am, a corporate dropout, and also a gardener. But what she writes about in her books including “Going Gray” (as in choosing not to dye your hair) and “It’s Always Personal” (about emotion in the workplace) are issues that affect work, life, health and aging. I loved her reaction to “The Backyard Parables.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Man: I think it was Kevin Loud’s “screen name” that enticed me to first click over to his “Nitty Gritty Dirt Man” blog, where he shows off his passion for plants—alongside beautiful, intimate garden photos he takes. And what’s not to like about a guy who announces “Margaret Roach Week” on his website? I mean, with a countdown calendar and everything, and even a book giveaway (coming shortly as one installment in the festivities, all of which are outlined here–scroll when you get there).

january 16

Rochelle Greayer’s Studio G: Found: a sister I never knew I had! Apparently Rochelle suffered through the same childhood that I did, you see, being mercilessly called “Roach.” So sorry, Rochelle. She is a landscape designer and co-founder and editor of LeafMag.com garden magazine, and here’s the Q&A we did together (great questions!).

WAMC Northeast Public Radio: Joe Donahue of WAMC’s –who reads more books than anyone else on the planet, I think–interviewed me about my garden, the new book, and more. Audio file of the show is live at this link. Enjoy!

january 17

Theresa Loe’s Living Homegrown: Theresa is the co-executive producer of Growing a Greener World TV, a public-television series, and even though she tends a small urban garden, it’s packed with edibles—a true homestead oasis in the city. Enviable–and most enviable of all: She’s a master canner. Her story is at this link, plus a giveaway!

Rural Intelligence: My low-population-density “hometown” these days means I think of “home” more as the immediate region, and the Rural Intelligence website covers the spot where NY-CT-MA come together. Their story is here.

The New York Times “Currents” column isn’t exactly a blog, of course, but writer Anne Raver shouted out “The Backyard Parables” there, saying I “really dig in” in this book, so here’s the link.

  1. Fran Meltz says:

    Thank you Margaret for The Backyard Parables!
    I love the cover photograph; looks like Frog is whispering to Buddha. Please consider selling prints of this photo.
    Happy gardening!

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Fran. Very sweet of you to say! Enjoy the book — and you, too, Cathy. (Making me a little nervous all these people having copies!…tee hee.)

  2. Lizzie says:

    The book I talked about in response to Marion’s question on her blog is Diane Ackerman’s “Cultivating Delight: a Natural History of My Garden.” Have you read it? She is less of a food gardener, and more of an aesthetic gardener, so I can’t directly identify with everything she writes about, but she is a beautiful writer, and always inspires me. :)

  3. I learned of your new book on your sister’s site. She says “she gets it now.” I’m glad for her and for you and look forward to reading your book. I love the title, “Backyard Parables.” It suggests that so much of what we need to learn and be reminded of is as close as our backyard.

    1. margaret says:

      Nice to meet you via Marion, Elizabeth. And yes: it’s right out back staring us in the face if we can slow down enough to see it. Took me a long time to realize that.

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks Jeff (I took the photo!), and thank you for the “intervention” as it was described to me by the recipient who shall remain nameless. Good to “meet” you.

  4. Margaret, your sister Marion Roach Smith said “…go visit Margaret and tell her I get it now, and that I love what she does.” For me, a favorite book on gardening is Around the House and in the Garden, which Dominque Browning, a magazine editor, wrote after her husband left suddenly. I like the way you wrote “…we must garden with both our head and heart.” After my husband and I moved to a condo building I have missed my gardening and flower gazing and my bird feeding and watching.

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Barbara, and I know Dominique of course! So nice of you to come say hello. I do garden with both head and heart (and hands come to think of it!).

  5. Deb says:

    What a great cover! I discovered your book through reading your sister’s blog. You know I am here to say “she gets it now!”

  6. Donna West says:


    During book arrived during the final days of a 5 day hard freeze here in Las Vegas, a very unusual event. I read the forward and intro because walking my garden to check on my green babies. Your words echoed in my ears when I found my one and only victim to the cold, my much beloved sweet potato vine. I fought to hard to help her thrive in the desert on my deep front porch. Your words are a great comfort and encouragement to those of us who continue to learn from our gardens.


  7. Margaret, Your book arrived and since it is a cold, rainy, foggy weekend, I’m devoting my days to your book and dreaming of spring! I saw a review in People magazine, and More magazine so you are sure getting the publicity! good for you.

  8. Daisy Marshall says:

    I’m getting settled into the reading of “Parables”, savored Katrina’s book to the last word! And of course enjoying the many comments I look forward too daily. My cup runneth over!!!!!!!So much to be grateful for………….

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