[Reading] ➿ From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden By Amy Stewart – Motyourdrive.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden

  1. says:

    Really enjoyed this little garden memoir Brought back a lot of memories of all my first gardening attempts in different parts of the country and world , only to learn that all those little tries were simply a warm up for my own garden the one I made and continue to build on in what I consider the first house I truly owned and that truly owned me Ms Stewart has a wonderful sense of humor, and a terrific eye for describing the absurdities that working in the sun and rain and soil brings to every true gardener new, or not But she just barely touches on the painful, heart wrench that will come when I have to leave this always work in progress to someone else someone else who will have to learn where the one special yellow columbine comes up and has come up for the past almost 17 years the one that s survived being pulled and broken off at the crown by various unseeing and uncaring so called professional gardeners And there are so many of those survivors in my garden Leaving friends all over the United States and the world has been hard beyond belief over the past fifty some years But abandoning my garden handing it over to someone who will have no idea what that rose I planted next to the garage door means to me, and meant to my mother that s almost unfathomable pain I also know that very soon I ll need to begin my letter to the new caretaker of my 100 year old house and garden and hope that they ll care about it enough to see it through all four seasons before making any drastic changes I pray they ll love the centurion cherry tree that s part of this garden s history as much as I do, crazy big roots and all So, thanks Amy for this terrific little book I wish it had been longer I grew up in Monterey and went to UCSC for a while so felt right at home in her garden.

  2. says:

    Why has it taken me so long to pick up a book about someone s experiences in a garden This is the second one that I ve read this year, and they ve both been delightful Early in the book, when Ms Stewart describes the location of her garden, she writes that her house and therefore some of her garden appears on many postcards I intend to watch for cards that show her house when I attend the upcoming postcard show.One part of her account that bothers me is her take on cats If she truly likes the natural world, why does she let her cats run free Yes, cats are predators, but they are not natural They fit the definition of a weed They survive in a wide variety of habitats and they wreck havoc on the native species I could continue this into a full fledged rant, but I will refrain.I can understand Stewart s comment about the Butchart Gardens, I longed for the diversity and disarray of the wild I didn t feel any closer to nature in this showboat garden instead, I felt like I had spent my afternoon strolling through a very sterile, well landscaped theme park or shopping mall Maybe that s why I enjoyed reading about her experiences Her goal in gardens is somewhat like mine diverse and natural.

  3. says:

    I enjoyed this amusing tale of a first garden, while Punxsutawney Phil today is predicting 6 weeks of winter it was nice to read of growing vegetables and flowers and herbs even if it was in California

  4. says:

    I have gradually been watching my gardening bookshelves make way for and compact, attractively bound, beautifully designed and charming books by Amy Stewart how convenient that she writes about poisonous and Wicked plants when our culture is obsessed with Gothic gruesomeness and horror Suddenly everyone is aware of the plight of honeybees and Monarchs, and PRESTO Out comes Wicked Bugs with its wonderfully whimsical red cover and Victorian ornamentation to tell the other side of the story Drinking has finally recovered from the stigma of Dean Martin style excess, and Amy responds with The Drunken Botanist reminding us that Chlorophyll once again is the key to human happiness Like a surfer, she rides the waves of timeliness and why not I sought out Flower Confidential a wonderful documentation of the enormous economic shifts that have taken place with globalization and our little flower world a dazzling piece of journalism So I confess I m hooked I had to finally get around to her first book A sort of Portrait of the Artist as a young gardener a very modest, homey tome that fits comfortably in one s hand, and which tells the story one we all have lived of how she became obsessed with gardening She reveals than a little about her past, her truly wonderful partnership with her husband, and her cultural and personal values It would be so easy to take pot shots at the two or three howlers I ve found in each book she s not a Ph.D botanist after all It would not be hard to dismiss these slight volumes, with are timed with such seeming ephemeral relevance Except Except that the prose flows ever so musically The image that you eventually gain of this delicate California Texas Valkyrie is so indelible that I give up I admit that these books so reasonably priced, so attractively packaged, so perfect to perch next to the bed in your guest room, or other personal rooms are perhaps nothing and nothing less than our contemporary manifestation of the White Goddess Amy is our contemporary voice of Mother Nature herself, in a wonderfully hip, up to date persona Buy all her books, read and re read them She s a modern classic Says he, bending on his knee in obeisance.

  5. says:

    A few charming helpful stories, but I found this book to be mostly irritating.

  6. says:

    Marvelous book about her first garden.

  7. says:

    A sweet and simple garden memoir I enjoyed this but do think it s best suited for beginning gardeners.

  8. says:

    I didn t know until just now that this book is from the author of Flower Confidential I read it some time ago and loved it It s the story of a first time gardener building her first garden, and the conversational tone with which she describes the excitement and dismay that a first garden engenders makes me feel we have been friends forever I really like this Amy Stewart This is a great book for anyone who wants to garden She is realistic about the challenges and joyous about the triumphs, as a good cottage gardener should be.

  9. says:

    This is a really inspiring and honest account of a budding love affair with gardening.Only qualm I had was with the cat stories Personally I can t stand when gardeners start long narratives about their pets It s boring and mostly irrelevant I love animals and a little about their involvement in the garden is ok but I don t get any enjoyment or useful information out of gardeners anthropomorphising their cats Otherwise, this is a great book

  10. says:

    Ah, the naivete of the inexperienced gardener When Stewart created her first garden she thought all there was to it was to clear weeds and put some seeds and plants in thte ground and magic would happen Well, she did live in sunny California How she learned otherwise, by painful experience, is what this book is about Entertaining, informative, and funny, Stewart is a good story teller who is always willing to share a joke on herself and expose her own foibles.

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