The backyard parables : lessons on gardening, and life

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Margaret Roach
Title: The backyard parables : lessons on gardening, and life
Ms. Roach dishes out a little less “woo-woo” (as she calls it), and a little more concrete (pardon the expression) horticultural knowledge than in her previous book ” And I Shall Have some Peace There”. The book is a combination of reflective vignettes and gardening directions, organized by the seasons of the year. Ms. Roach shows, on occasion, a writing style that reminds me of her former employee, Martha Stewart. All in all, it’s an interesting read, and you might learn something about gardening.

Four Tenths of an Acre

From: Margaret Mezzacapo
Four Tenths of an Acre
Author: Laurie Lisle
This has a similar theme to Margaret Roach’s And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road (2011). A single woman “escapes” city life by fleeing to a country setting and becoming an obsessive gardener. Ms. Lisle becomes totally possessed, and IMHO uses the garden to avoid human interaction.

There are a few jarring notes/questions I had:

  • Without a job, how is she paying for all this? Unless she got one boatload of an inheritance!
  • She mentions her dog – and somehow chronicles sixteen years with her – yet always refers to her as “my dog” and not once gives her name. Then again, she only names one of her three husbands.

Overall, an entertaining read, though.

And I Shall Have Some Peace There

From Margaret Mezzacapo
And I Shall Have Some Peace There
Author: Margaret Roach

I finished And I Shall Have Some Peace There by Margaret Roach. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, it would be, “My, Margaret, how you do go on.”

Ms. Roach waxes metaphysical to the extent that I just wanted to ask her to get to the point. I read this one first because, as a gardener, I had read her columns in Newsday. Glad I read it, but it really could have been condensed.

Mulch Ado about Nothing

From Elaine Pasquali
author: Churchill, Jill
Mulch Ado about Nothing
This is a fast summer read.  Suburban mom Jane Jeffry and her neighbor, Shelley Nowack, enroll in a botany class at their local community center, hoping that they can develop green thumbs.  Before the class even begins, Jane breaks her leg, an attempt is made on the teacher’s life, and the replacement teacher soon ends up dead.  Jane’s policeman boyfriend, Mel, is assigned to the case, but, of course, Jane and Shelley involve themselves in its solution.  Oh, Jane and Shelley never do develop green thumbs but they do learn the joy of instant gardens, thanks to the local nursery.