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Online Garden Book Club

Gardening

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1ColdClimateGardening
Nov 5, 2006, 10:39am Top

Indygardener has started a Garden Bloggers Book Club for the winter, but it's not for garden bloggers only. The details are here. The book we're all reading for November is The Essential Earthman by Henry Mitchell. If you don't own this book, you owe it to yourself to read it, and why not now, when there will be so many others to discuss it? And for those of you squarely in the how-to gardening camp, I think reading this book will convince you that there is more to garden books than instruction. It will make you smile, first at the author's foibles, and then, as the realization dawns, on your own.

2OldRoses
Nov 5, 2006, 11:47am Top

I'm reading and thoroughly enjoying "The Essential Earthman" for the Garden Bloggers Book Club. He talks a lot about his gardens over the years but at the same time imparts a lot of valuable instruction while poking gentle fun at himself. I will definitely be reading his other books too.

3Talbin
Nov 7, 2006, 11:55am Top

ColdClimateGardening - I think it was you who suggested using LT for the bookclub? What a great idea! This is only my third time on the site, but I really like it. And if it was someone else who suggested using this site, then kudos to you.

4ColdClimateGardening
Nov 7, 2006, 2:00pm Top

It was me . . . and if I had realized LT had groups sooner, I would have made the suggestion sooner.

5Windy
Nov 10, 2006, 3:19pm Top

Hi,

I'm a new member, and I just got the book at the library this morning. Are we discussing the book on this forum, or the GardenBloggers blog? Seems a stupid question now that I wrote it down.

Can we discuss as we go along, or do we wait until we finished reading? I'm into the second chapter and I'm in love.

6Indygardener
Nov 10, 2006, 5:43pm Top

Windy,
The answer is either way. If you have a thought or question and what to start some discussion, feel free to post a question here. Or, if you have a blog and want to write something about the book at any point in time, that's good, too. I'm going to try to gather up any blog posts at the end of the month and post with links to all of those.

Glad to have you aboard and happy to hear you are enjoying the book!

Carol (Indygardener)

7OldRoses
Feb 4, 2007, 1:47pm Top

I have one word to describe my reaction to the February selection, Two Gardeners: enthralled. I can't put it down. Anyone else reading it?

8Talbin
Feb 4, 2007, 4:34pm Top

I started Two Gardeners on Wednesday and finished it on Friday. I just tore through it. I didn't want to stop to take notes, so I'll have to re-read it before I post my review. As if re-reading it is an onerous task . . . .

9Windy
Feb 17, 2007, 12:21pm Top

I closed this book at 2 am, dabbing away tears. I have to collect myself before I write my post.

10Talbin
Feb 17, 2007, 12:58pm Top

It's amazing how close you feel to Katharine White and Elizabeth Lawrence by the time the book ends. I was teary, too.

11OldRoses
Feb 17, 2007, 2:52pm Top

Windy, that was my reaction too!

12Indygardener
Feb 19, 2007, 7:37pm Top

I loved this book, too, so I am glad others felt the same way. Thank you "Talbin" for suggesting it! I wrote my post and published it yesterday on my blog.

13florahistora First Message
Feb 20, 2007, 3:21pm Top

Hello all, I am new to Librarything and am beginning to add to my library. I was captured by Two Gardeners after I had read Katharine White's Onward and upward in the Garden. This book contains White's articles from the New Yorker and is contemporary with the letters in Two Gardeners. Then I had to have more...Through the Garden Gate is a collection of Elizabeth Lawrence's writing. Her biography is titled No One gardens Alone. She also wrote two other books that she talks about in Two Gardeners: The Little Bulbs and Gardening for Love: the Market Bulletins. I Love them all.

Kathryn

14Windy
Feb 27, 2007, 1:06pm Top

I'm going to post my thoughts about Two Gardeners here.

I am so thankful that Mrs. White and Miss Lawrence made arrangements for their letters to be preserved for the rest of us to eventually read. There is so much more than gardening in those letters!

I have been thinking every day since I closed the book about the vision I have of two women, and all the other characters the letters introduced, living lives centered around a great love, and how that great love in turn enabled them to survive the heavy burdens life brings us all. Their letters illuminate the deep respect each woman feels for the other, in spite of very different lives, because each understands the other so well because they are both gardeners.

The editor postulates that Mrs. White's and Miss Lawrence's eventual meeting was a disappointment, because there were no letters for several months. I did not perceive disappointment in the tone of those letters, but I did sense a shift to a greater ease of familiarity. The women become less careful and more sincere in their writing. I love that Miss Lawrence can write to Mrs. White that she slipped and fell coming out of the liquor store, that she doesn't know how to cook, she is merely the bartender! I am amused that Mrs. White cannot distinguish subtle variations in scent because she reveals that she is a heavy smoker, an image that conflicts for me with my image of her as the consummate editor, meticulous in her details, lavish in her apologies when she makes a factual error. Her desire for perfection is so great, her gardener cannot keep up.

One can only imagine the hellish hopelessness of Mrs. White's many and strange illnesses, yet she continued to carry on, I believe helped to do so by her friendships with Miss Lawrence and other gardeners and by her writing. As the spaces between letters grow by months, I imagine Miss Lawrence being prepared for the letter she eventually receives from E. B. White, informing her of Mrs. White's death.

Two lives, lived well in the garden, leaving legacies for us in word and deed. Would that I could do as well.

15Indygardener
Feb 27, 2007, 10:32pm Top

Windy... I'll include a link to this question so people can read this review, too. Thanks for participating!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens
aka Indygardener

16vonlafin
Edited: Mar 1, 2007, 4:50pm Top

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