spring will come (and so will my new old book, ‘a way to garden’)

TWENTY-ONE YEARS ago almost to the day, my first garden book, “A Way to Garden,” was published. Maybe a year and a half ago, when I realized it was about to turn 20 but was really out of date (and long out of print), I said to my friend Andrew Beckman that we ought to do something about that.

“I always loved that book,” said Andrew. I always loved that old book of mine, too, and in late April of 2019 I hope you will love its all-new incarnation that we have conjured together. (That’s the 2019 cover up top.)

Andrew and I had worked together for many years at Martha Stewart Living, and he is one of the best gardeners I know. These days he is Publisher at Timber Press, garden book specialists.

With Andrew’s encouragement I set about the do-over, and with help from photographer Mick Hales supplemented my own photos…and here we almost are.

I’LL LET YOU KNOW when it is time to have a proper look—again, publication date isn’t till the end of April—and give you a chance to read some parts ahead of time, even. But for now, just this thought from the preface, where I write about how much had changed since the first edition in the plant palette, and awareness of, say, pollinators’ needs, and so many other such shifts both in tastes and consciousness.

And then I say this:

“One more thing, or actually two, have not changed even a little: I garden because I cannot help myself. I hope that you may feel that calling.
Most of all: this book is still titled ‘A Way to Garden’ because it is not the only way, just my way. It’s the one way I have gradually sorted out despite all the shifts in trends and technology and even the taxonomic order of things, as tried-and-true plants were renamed (and sometimes then un-renamed for dizzying good measure).
Whatever pest or predicament is thrown at me, onward I do dig, and most of all: weed. Perhaps mine is a way to garden that will work for you, too. I hope so.”

Yup, that’s me: still weeding, decades later.

More book news in March sometime, or thereabouts, but today just a quiet little “almost-hooray.” (All together now: “Almost-hooray!”)

pre-order possibilities

  1. Kathy Menold says:

    You have been my gardening guru ever since I bought A Way to Garden .It has been a source of quotes in many a gardening lecture and articles I have done. Especially loved the chapter on our gardens in August and Sept. Still have my old copy but will definitely order a new hard copy. Also still have my Victory Garden. Thanks for our years together .Just had my 70th birthday and although my garden is downsized and my knees are failing I couldn’t live without this part of my life.

    1. margaret says:

      What a wildly sweet and much appreciated note, Kathy. Thank you. My knees are still intact for the moment but my right wrist seems to hate me : )

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