‘the backyard parables,’ by margaret roach

YES! It’s time to give you a sneak peek at “The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life” (due January 15, 2013)–my first garden book since 1998, when I published the one this website is named for.

If I’ve ever produced something that embodies my mantra of “horticultural how-to and woo-woo”—a blend of philosophical and practical, or spiritual and scientific—then this is it.

Part memoir, part handbook. The early feedback has been great (see the quotes from “Eat, Pray, Love” author Liz Gilbert and others, below). Curious? Get a sample chapter free to read now, too:

3 ways you can help today

I’VE BEEN HARVESTING 30 years of backyard parables—deceptively simple, instructive stories from a life spent digging ever deeper—and now I’ve distilled them in this memoir along with my best tips for garden making. I hope you’ll do these three things to help me get the word out:

1. watch and share the video (click ‘share’ on top of the player frame);

2. read a free excerpt (then share it, too), and finally…

3. here comes the sales pitch (bet you knew there’s be one!):


Time to pre-order my book.

(“Wow, that was brash,” you might be saying now; “how dare she? We’ve got Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday shopping to do first!”)

Well, maybe just think of me as one of those; I’m definitely online (a.k.a. cyber), and definitely small. But here’s why I’m hoping for your early expressions of enthusiasm:

Pre-orders (and even no-cost actions like “sharing” the excerpt on Facebook, or sharing the trailer video, or otherwise spreading the word), really help me get the buzz going, by alerting booksellers and other readers like you to look out for “The Backyard Parables.”

I know I can count on your help these next weeks, during the run-up to January 15–our publication day.

Many thanks.

quotes from ‘the backyard parables’ cover

‘AS A PASSIONATE, hopeful and often self-delusional gardener (the only kind of gardener there is!), I loved this book. Margaret Roach writes with intelligence, compassion, and-most of all-sanity. Her work is a blessing.’ (Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love )

‘AS I READ THIS WITTY, revealing, sometimes poetic confessional I felt I understood for the first time what a garden could be-a work of art, a source of pleasure and solace, an object of beauty, a provider of nourishment. And why Margaret calls the plot she tends “my monster.” This is the story of a real relationship: Margaret and her garden, a love story.’ (Anna Thomas, author of The Vegetarian Epicure and Love Soup )

‘IN MATTERS OF both earth and heart, Margaret Roach is fearless. She digs deep. What she finds, and what she offers in this lyrical memoir of a gardening year, is hard-won wisdom laced with humor, hands-on how-to delivered with a poet’s touch, experience embraced with fervor, humility, and grace.” (Katrina Kenison, author of Magical Journey and The Gift of an Ordinary Day )

‘ON HER KNEES and in the garden, Margaret cultivates an intimate relationship with the Beloved, finding what the body, heart and soul may most desire. As Rumi says: “Why should we not play like that sometimes, having fun, exploring some nooks…in our own backyard.” (Daniel Ladinsky, bestselling Penguin poet-translator of Hafiz and Rumi )

‘FOR ANYONE who has ever felt both the deep rewards and melancholy of being a care-giver–whether it be a houseplant, a pet, a child, or a parent–Margaret’s portrayal of the seasonal ebb and flow of life will speak to you and remind you of your deep connection to all of the planet’s creatures. “The Backyard Parables” is an ode to a life lived fully, both in and out of the garden.’ (Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, Founding Editor, Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn.com)

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