ny times on my book: ‘sensitive, wise, deliberate, thoughtful and splendidly bossy’

NAILED! Yes, reviewer Dominique Browning, writing in the special summer reading section in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, offers high praise for my new-old book “A Way to Garden” and to my delight calls me “splendidly bossy.”

Little did she know that Grandpa Roach called me “Marge the Boss” starting when I was about 5, owing to my take-charge inclinations, apparently. (Don’t get my younger sister started on this subject.) Browning also calls me “a natural teacher,” which especially delights me, and recommends the book for both “longtime tillers” and “new gardeners,” which was what I aimed for in choosing what to include, and how to write about it.

Read her review for yourself. (Share it!)

  1. Pam Collins says:

    That review is marvelous! I love your book and enjoyed the day I came to tour your garden earlier this month. I did not get to talk with you that day, as you were pretty busy, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your garden writing, podcast and advice. I don’t see you as bossy, but, rather, I see you as enthusiastic, wise and generous with your knowledge! Keep it coming!

  2. Kevin King says:

    So pleased for you, but how could you not of gotten a beautiful review the book is wonderful.

    So love the photographs and your vision over all.
    You are my hero!


  3. John Moore says:


    You should be pleased and proud to have the glowing NY Times review added to the Washington Post review of your re-worked tome. Congratulations!

    At the risk of being cast into your compost pile of contrarian emails, I don’t think you’re “bossy” at all. You have made it clear that you are not trying to teach THE way to garden; but rather, A way to garden.

    But having noted that, I think the Times reviewer was mistaking “firm”, or even, “entrenched” for “bossy”. When confronted with an opinion different than your’s, I think you just stay silent instead of letting rip with a response of Roachian orthodoxy. FWIW, I don’t view you, or your book, as “bossy”.,


  4. Nancy Guarino says:

    Congratulations, Margaret! It’s well-deserved! I’m loving the book … and also can testify to your “natural teacher” abilities! Thank you for all. (heart) Nancy

    1. margaret says:

      Thank you, Nancy, Much appreciated. So glad to finally “meet” the other day, if in the midst of chaos. :)

  5. Judy Goodell says:

    I just finished your new A Way to Garden over the weekend and made notes of new ideas and plants and bushes to try. One specific question I have is how you manage to grow verbenia bonariensis seeds so well. Mine have not sprouted after several weeks under lights, whereas other seeds did well. I think I didn’t give them the refrigerator and dark treatment long enough. Wish I lived near you to see all your well thought out landscapes! Congratulations!!!

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