Bookshelf:

Earthly Delights
Gardening by the Seasons the Easy Way
Earthly Delights: Gardening by the Seasons the Easy Way is just the tonic for the gardener who wants that beautiful garden but doesn't want to spend six hours a day achieving it.

Organized by the planting seasons, this book offers tested strategies for achieving a glorious garden without the backache and vexations. And every tip eschews chemicals and other pesticides.

If you are a lazy gardener, someone on a limited budget, or someone easily intimidated by it all all this book will show you how you can overcome any of these obstacles.

"Gardeners on the lookout for a straight-talking mentor should profit from Rochester's journal and its refreshingly practical musings. No plant snobbery here but rather a self-described leisurely gardener who revels in finding shortcuts to digging and cultivating her plot of land. Rochester's attitude invites the reader to take a break, pour a cup of tea, and forge a fine and friendly relationship with a kindred spirit."

Alice Joyce, Booklist "The essays provide simple, timesaving insights on how to cultivate a natural refuge in any growing zone without backbreaking work or worry. Rochester is a master gardener and her sound horticultural advice is presented in a light, humorous tone that makes this book a relaxing refuge in its own right."

Publishers Weekly

Book Review by Dan Clost... Well, Gentle Reader, here's the first book review of the year. I picked this book as the initial effort for several reasons. One is that the author enjoys gardening but not the chores. She is a firm believer in composting without the work. She prefers to manage weeds and pests without chemical interventions- organic or inorganic. She knows the rules and blithely breaks them when time and circumstance allow. Most importantly she gardens for the love of it, not for self-aggrandisement.

She is a gardening columnist who began her writing career at the same stage in life that I did. We think very much the same, eerily so. In fact, some of her writings reflect mine or mine do hers depending upon which column was published first. When you read this book, GR, you will definitely notice a likeness in style and attitude. One other very interesting coincidence is that we have both written very similar books. The big difference is that hers is published already. It is my pleasure to introduce Margot Rochester.

Here’s the technical data you will need to track this book down: Earthly Delights, Gardening by the Seasons, the Easy Way, Margot Rochester, Taylor Trade Publishing, ISBN 1-58979-078. Almost as important, if you can't find this book in Canada, is the contact information for her publicity manager, Tracy Miracle: tmiracle@rowman.com.

Earthly Delights is a collection of some 70 of her more than 500 published gardening columns arranged in 6 Chapters: Breaking Ground, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer and Winnowing.

Each has its own bit of wisdom, stories of sharing and flat out common sense-based advice. From a column entitled Good Friends, Garden Differences, Margot states that a...”a garden is such a personal expression. If a dozen of us were given the same plants and equal spaces in which to garden, we each would come up with a different design that would become increasingly unique over time.” Later, in the same column, she magnificently defends her gardening friend’s differences with this, “I cannot blame her for her tidiness in the garden, anymore than I blame her for the neatness of her closets or her dust-free house.”

Do you begin to understand my attraction for this fellow gardener? She doesn’t want to get bound by strictures of artificial formality that twists and attempts to subjugate the offerings of this good earth.

Don’t be misled by the anecdotal style of writing found in this book. As engaging and readable as it is, there is a lot of plant science imbedded in these words. This is a wonderful talent that I believe many garden writers lack. Much of what we read can be sorted out into two distinct camps: dry, dusty text books stuffed full of pontifications devoid of life and breath or ephemeral epistles waxing so eloquent that one wonders if even the Garden of Eden ever looked so good.

Good garden writers should be able to communicate the why and how-to bits of the vocation along with the joy and wonder of the avocation. They need not be polished writers with impeccable command of language, although Margot demonstrates a deftness with her use of it. ( I refer to myself re lack of polish.)

This book was a pleasant read and I enjoyed meeting Margot through its pages. If there is a criticism it would be a duplication of some bits of advice, but I don’t see how that would be avoidable in a book of this nature.

An excerpt found on the inside book cover sums up Earthly Delights best. “If, like the author, you are a lazy gardener, on a limited budget or easily intimidated by it all, Earthly Delights will help you overcome these obstacles. Even if you just want to enjoy the gardening experience more the authored shares her ideas on how she accomplishes this and how you can too.”


Author : Margot Rochester
ISBN : 1589790782
Publisher : Taylor Trade Publishing
Sugg. Retail Price : $22.95
Available in Hardcover
Number of Pages : 216

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