cover image Deep-Rooted Wisdom: Skills and Stories from Generations of Gardeners

Deep-Rooted Wisdom: Skills and Stories from Generations of Gardeners

Augustus Jenkins Farmer. Timber, $24.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-60469-452-9

With a relaxed, Southern charm evocative of lush greenery, muddy swamps, perfumy hedges, hidden lanes, and steamy backyard gatherings, Farmer, who farms crinum lilies and designs gardens, invites readers into his community of plants, people, and landscapes, gently urging readers to adopt old gardening ways and adapt them to 21st-century life. He covers trendy topics, such as layering functions, no-till gardening, building the soil web, saving seeds, and favoring hand tools and imperfections over machines and pesticides. Yet unlike many other authors in this genre whose roots are relatively recently planted, Farmer, who’s been digging, foraging, and planting since the third grade, consults old-timers in his neighborhood—especially his mother—and ventures further afield to glean advice from “fellow ‘dirt’ gardeners” about such diverse topics as rooting cuttings, the art of machete-wielding, and opening the senses in order to discover and work with the spirit of place. Although the practical advice may not be all-new to many dirt-diggers, garden clubbers and permies alike will find inspiration in Farmer’s gently, richly passionate stories of natural and cultural history embedded in gardens and the gardeners who create and inhabit them. (Mar.)