stray thought: a way, or away, to garden?

green logoI USED TO BECOME IMPATIENT WHEN PEOPLE would type the name of my blog as Away to Garden. Yes, I know; in a url address you cannot tell where words start or end, but the blog was named for my funny old book: “A Way to Garden,” as in the way I garden, here; just my way, one way among many, yes, but the only one I can really offer first-hand, with conviction. Like in the bright green box up top. Now, more than a year and a half into rural living, with glimpses of the city life I knew fading fast, I find myself falling prey to the trap: I, too, am unconsciously typing Away to Garden, as in: I moved away from the city to garden (or live in the garden, at least). How do you hear the name of the blog in your head? Nutty, huh?

  1. Sharon says:

    Ah Margaret, I first thought Away to Garden, then
    I realized it should be read A Way to Garden, next
    I thought such a clever play on words you have
    chosen to have the best of both worlds.

  2. MJ says:

    Even the font of the title of the blog suggests a fanciful flight…away to garden! and then it becomes A way to garden, as we get to know you. A good trip both ways.

  3. Tricia says:

    It was the name that attracted me to the site, and then the whole world of what you are doing (sister project, Nepal, leave city, love frogs, etc). I fitrst saw it as the way you described your initial intention, but I think the ‘away’ feeling is what lights it up and draws you in.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Tricia, and thank you for the kind words. Sort of “away we go,” I guess. :) I hope you will be a regular with us.

      I am fascinated by all your comments and thanks to all of you who thought I was so clever that I had the double meaning in mind. Nope, just used my old book title. Tee hee.

  4. Amy says:

    Ditto. I just thought “How clever!” But since my garden is my refuge and solace – my place away from everything else – I think in terms of the later.

  5. TexasDeb says:

    If I’d ever managed a book, well received by the Garden Writers of America or not, I’d most certainly have felt it appropriate to repeat the title when blogging years later. Empires, even smallish green ones, require some branding, at least…..

    That said, all along I’d thought (especially after recognizing your level of expertise and dedication) you were taking aim at so many who would presume to present us with THE Way to Garden.

    A rose by any other name?

  6. Amy says:

    P.S. I wish you could convince your publishers to reprint ‘A Way to Garden.’ [Tell them we all would buy it] I borrowed it from the library and it is beautiful!!

  7. Tracy Holmes says:

    I read it both ways along with the rest… a way and away, given your “from martha to just margaret” statement. It always strikes me as an appealing play on words.

    Haven’t seen the 1998 book but you and Andrew were gardening talk radio rock stars in my book during your run on Sirius!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Tracy, and thanks. I miss doing that show with Andrew (who is my neighbor here on weekends and co-owns Loomis Creek Nursery). So I get to see him if not do radio with him, thank goodness. But we did have fun. See you soon here again, I hope.

  8. ayo says:

    I have a city mouse/country mouse kind of life, like you once had–befitting a gemini. So I hear it as “away.” Even though the spacing on the title says one thing, to me it’s another.
    But that’s the poetry in it—it’s “a way” and “away;” both interpretations are accurate, don’t you think?

  9. Bonnie says:

    I love the double meaning you have going with your blog. That is one of the things that originally excited me. What could be better than having “A Way to Garden” and also going “Away to Garden”? I think having them both is a wonderful coincidence. I enjoy all you do.

  10. Bobster says:

    The first thing I thought of was you driving up on weekends year in and year out while living in the city …thus “away to garden”. Wonderful however you choose to split it up.

  11. I love the name “A way to garden”. I understood it that way from the beginning. It has a wonderful feel to it, simple and nostalgic. It begged me to look at your site and the way you garden. I am shown another gardener’s love for the earth and the things that grow in it. And with that love comes the knowledge gained from your rich store of gardening experience and stunning creativity. An absolutely beautiful way to garden!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Bonnie, and many thanks for the encouragement. I like the way you describe my unintentional double meaning, and yes, what could be better? See you soon I hope.

      Welcome, Michelle. I am glad you “heard” the original meaning…for years (since the 90s when I wrote the book) it never occurred to me to think of it any other way. Now both make me smile. Don’t be a stranger.

  12. Linda From NC says:

    Wow! I have to admit that when I realized that A Way To Garden came out in 1988, I was taken aback. I bought it not long after it came out, so you and I have been on the garden trail together for quite some time. I’ve learned so much from you. I also agree with Tracy; You and Andrew made my day when you were on for 2 hrs. So glad that you still see him. I think either way you look at the title of your book and blog, it’s amazing.

  13. I love this topic…I think of my blog as danger garden. Some need to type Danger Garden, which is fine. But my brother insists that it should be DANGER GARDEN!…ok I do see his point but I prefer the subtlety.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Loree. I will have to go visit your blog and see what danger (uppercase letters or lowercase ones) lie in wait. Interesting. See you soon again I hope.

  14. Tammy says:

    I have always heard it as A Way to Garden. I think it is because you (and maybe I felt this from having listened to you and Andrew on the radio) seem to be the type of person to guide and enlighten others rather than dictate how their garden (or whatever) should be. I echo the request for a reprint!!!

  15. candylei says:

    Now I have to go to our library and see if your “A Way to Garden” book is there…Or search Amazon not that anyone would ever want to give up their copy! I third the request for a reprint!

  16. Barbara H. says:

    Well, Margaret, talent will out. Without meaning to, your words have what for me is the true mark of a good writer – density of meaning that retains its clarity any way you read it.

  17. ellen rocco says:

    Hi Margaret,
    I want to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and say a huge thank you to you for this site – really for the community it creates. There’s not a time I read (or reread) the blog that I don’t find myself smiling. What a lovely gift you have created. And happy, happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow readers. E Rocco

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Ellen. Such kind words! You are welcome, and happy holiday to you as well. Which remind me that I had better organize a post to that effect…hmmm….

  18. sorrygardener says:

    You didn’t intend the double meaning? I can’t tell you how many idle shower minutes I’ve spent thinking about how clever the name is … and that it starts with “A” so it’s at the top of everyone’s blogroll.

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