|I am halfway through reading Margaret Roach's latest book, THE BACKYARD PARABLES -|
LESSONS ON GARDENING, AND LIFE. Now, you can win one too! Read on.
First and foremost, Margaret love words and writing as much as he loves plants. She writes literature, and I write a blog, but I will do my best to try and describe her book for you. As a designer, I will add that this is a beautifully designed book. The perfect font, nice paper stock, and the perfect size for bedside reading, or for reading in that ugly lounger I shared in an earlier post as the squirrels raid my bird feeders. Margaret does use some words that I have to look up, but then again, she was ( and still in inside) an editor. I wish she would write more books, especially on gardening.
You can win this brand new book right now by simply by first leaving a comment on this post and by joining my blog as a follower. I will choose a winner this Tuesday at 9:00 PM. EST. Please leave only one comment, as I will be randomizing the winner from the list. It is nice too, if you could take the time to visit Margaret's blog, and her Facebook page for the blog, and this crazy interweb is a numbers game, and we all need numbers if we want to continue such posts!
Most of us know Margaret from her very popular blog A WAY TO GARDEN, her books ( most recently AND I SHALL HAVE SOME PEACE THERE) and of course, many of us are familiar with her corporate life when she was editor of Martha Stewart Living (including her gardening radio show Sirius on MSLO channel), and her many other contributions with both MSLO and elsewhere over her career. This latest book Margaret continues sort of where her last book left off. She documents the daily adventures in her garden, and in her life - both spiritually, and physically. Margaret writes about her life, and this book is personal as well as it is informational. I dare to day, that Margaret is just beginning her new career - and that should be exciting to her. In the garden she is a modern day Ruth Stout, but in (a younger) Thalassa Crusoe body.
Margaret is leading a pack of new, young gardeners who follow her every word. She is the grande dam of the hipster, lifestyle mommy bloggers, yet at the same time, she is a true homebody, rarely leaving her home and garden ( like a true writer), and this book explores that part of her world in detail.
I found it funny that she frequently mentions that she "really isn't' a horticulturist" especially in this book, which I suppose is true, but she is certainly an accomplished gardener - albeit one who is still learning, (and then, who isn't). Margaret acknowledges in both this and in earlier books, that her garden has changed (i.e. saved) her life. To her, gardening is not viewed as a an activity, especially one of leisure as it is for many, but she is discovering that it is drawing her in, and in a very intimate way. As Margaret's life evolves, so does her relationship with her space, a space which has gone through tremendous change over the past 8 years.
When Margaret stepped away from her massively powerful corporate job (and life) in New York City, and starting her new life in this little house in rural New York, now only did a new chapter open up for her - I think it freaked her out a bit. And, by writing these first two books, she is confronting this issue. My hope is that as she writes more books, that they will deal more with her garden, now that she has opened her soul, and shared her deepest regrets, hopes and dreams.
Margaret admits that she is a most unlikely gardener and naturalist, yet even though she lived in New York City, she still kept aquariums and started gardening when she was still young. As for many of us, discovering gardening happens in phases, and for that reason alone, this book will appeal to both the beginner, and to the expert gardener, for we all deal with many of the same struggles in the garden and in life. This book is heavy on the philosophy and spiritual aspects of gardening, but we can all use a good dose of that too.
This is a book more about appreciation, of life and natures irony, It examines in a peaceful way, both the cruel and the sweet gifts of life. This is a book that comes off a little less angry, a little less tense, and it doesn't try to define the irony or reason behind why things happen. It reminds me of her earlier writing (when she was editor at MSLO) I think an article called natures datebook - short essays about chickadees mating, about sowing onions, hearing the first spring peepers in April or listening to the, June bugs buzzing on the screens on a July evening - even about sound that ice makes when it slides off the roof on a moon lit night in January.
Margaret has found herself, and I think she like her.