Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gardening Books

There was a time... I had a fascination with dictionaries that started when I was about seven years old. I had some type of dictionary and thesaurus on every shelf. Dictionaries for foreign languages, even a visual French dictionary. Miniature dictionaries were everywhere (I even had one very tiny one in my hand bag.) I had slang dictionaries, a rhyming dictionary, dictionaries for business. Recently I heard an author saying that when she was about seven or eight she borrowed the beautiful big dictionary her friend's family had in order to copy it into a notebook. After about 100 entries she gave up. But I understood her thinking she could complete a task like that. That's how I thought as a kid, and I did the same thing she did in a way, trying to copy my sister's school biology textbook so when I took biology some years later, I'd have the textbook down cold.

Since 2006 there has been a noticeable steady downtown in the sale of gardening books and an upturn in the purchase of decorative items and furnishings for the garden. People put more statues, flags and whimsical things around, add more benches, buy cushions, and hardly ever pick up a trowel. And yet DIY backyard gardening was all the rage just a few years ago. Boomer bookshelves were then stuffed with books by Ann Raver, Barbara Damrosch, Rayford Reddell, Eliot Coleman and many more wonderful authors and gardening freaks. People talked about their favorite gardening books, everyone seemed to have favorites.



Ordering Spring by artist Janet Fish. The painting reminds me of J's post on seeds.

9 comments:

R.L. Bourges said...

loved the post on seeds. Once had a humongous garden near Montréal. One of the joys of winter was planning the garden. Now, I have a tiny courtyard and potted plants but that's fun too.

As for dictionaries, don't get me started. In boarding school, I used to read them, prefaces and all, after I'd exhausted the book shelves of everything else. One of my longest book-related decisions before leaving for Europe was culling down that part of my personal library. (Guess what was the first book I bought over here? the 'Dictionnaire du français régional du Midi toulousain et pyrénéen').

Deborah Godin said...

I'm afraid I'm one of those potted-annuals-beside-a-really-cool-statue type gardners. Never had a book on the actual hort. part of the pasttime, which, for a Taurus is pretty much astrological heresy. What can I say - this summer I'm looking for a birdbath.

Squirrel said...

I need a new birdbath too. And some cushions.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

there is something very comforting about a dictionary....

e said...

I used to read the dictionary page by page for fun as a kid, a habit I kept into my teen years. Now, if I am bored, I look at various thesauri. I also love word games.

Taarzaan said...

reference books are the best--the most entertaining thing I can think of is reality. my collection includes gardening, crafts, biography, and my biggest obsession--cookery!

JGH said...

That dictionary looks like a very useful book! I wonder if the downturn in the sale of gardening books has anything to do with the upturn in the number of gardening blogs. Hundreds of new ones every week it seems! Thanks for linking.

Barbara said...

Copying a dictionary reminds me of my attempt with neighborhood friends to dig to China. About 3 feet in we gave up and went home to dinner.

Ribbon said...

G'day your blog is beautiful to look at, but unfortunately for me I'm unable to read it clearly due to the red background.
I'll try again another day......maybe just today I have tired eyes.

Best wishes :-)

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)