THE BACKYARD PARABLES by Margaret Roach

THE BACKYARD PARABLES

A Meditation on Gardening
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Reflections on being saved, and finding happiness, through gardening.

Early in the book, Roach (And I Shall Have Some Peace There, 2011, etc.) includes a quote from Bertrand Russell: "Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite." This conundrum encapsulates this third book from Roach, a longtime blogger and former editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. From the descriptions within, the author gardens in much the same way she writes—nothing is turned away, provided there's a suitable space for it. Roach considers the sounds of gardening, terminology, different pricings of what she grows to sell, childhood gardens, the passing of seasons—both for a garden and for a person—and the contributions of science toward the creation of a more pleasing experience of garden tending. The author is also unafraid of poking fun at herself and the many well-entrenched habits of gardening she cannot back away from—for example, having spent a lifetime gardening in long pants, she tried shorts only to relent within the half-hour, feeling that she was doing a disservice to the colors of the flowers with "the color of the canvas I provide with my tender flesh." Roach scatters gardening tips throughout the book, noting that other books provide more along those lines but that these tips are shared in the interest of spurring on readers to return to their own gardens.

Many a gardener will likely find that motivation from this pleasant book.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4555-0198-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2012




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