cover image Becoming a Gardener: What Reading and Digging Taught Me About Living

Becoming a Gardener: What Reading and Digging Taught Me About Living

Catie Marron. Harper Design, $60 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-296361-1

“Gardens have mattered deeply in people’s lives ever since Eve ate the apple from the tree,” writes Marron (City Squares), a contributing editor at Vogue, in this impressive meditation. When Marron moved to Connecticut, she realized that “to feel rooted,” she needed to “put down roots” and start a garden, so she gave herself 18 months to design and watch a full plant cycle. Along the way, she learned how to be a gardener by reading books by such writer-gardeners as Beverley Nichols, Eleanor Perényi, and Henry Mitchell, and also by good ol’ trial and error. Gardeners make mistakes all the time, Marron suggests—this is just one of the many lessons she lays out. Others include that to be a gardener, one must hang around other gardeners, that gardeners are witnesses to death, and that kitchen gardens are more work than other kinds. As she recounts the skills of “observation, planting techniques, and patience” she gained during her trial, she shares plenty of practical tips for others looking to get started—an “annual to-do list,” for example, breaks down seasonal tasks and what to plant when—and lush photographs compliment Marron’s musings. Aspiring and seasoned gardeners alike will want to have this on the shelf. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Oct.)