Odd Lots: Seasonal Notes of a City Gardner, is a lovely book. He has what I would call a large garden for a city – enough to have beds and lawn and trees and compost and a garage, firmly situated in New England. And it’s actually organized by the months of the year rather than by season. And so we get to visit the various pieces of the garden in the different months. The trees, which are structural in winter months, shade in summer months, and glorious colors in the fall. He talks about the chores and the glories of each month, as you would talk to a friend or family member. Except that he is interested in knowing the names of his plants, and he mostly knows and uses the official Latin names. I had to look some up…and eventually I just gave up. And read through them. It’s a slow easy book to read – not demanding thought or knowledge about gardens, although it did cause to think about my own yard and garden
whenever I put it down, and things that I could do this month. And next month. And next spring, as well. It made me go out to examine my small plantings and pots a few times.And think about planting more daffodils and grape hyacinths this fall. The herbs are doing well here, but I’ve had trouble with zinnias and vegetables. And I found a beautiful caterpillar on the parsley – my experts tell me it will become an Eastern Swallowtail butterfly. So I will happily share my parsley with it.
I would highly recommend the book for anyone interesting in gardening, whether they are currently gardeners or not. There’s a lot of thought and philosophy rather than technique and to-do lists. No guilt. Just enjoyment of nature out the back – or front – door.