Thursday, April 29, 2010

a book recommendation

We made a quick stop at the library over the weekend; my husband had a book on hold that he needed to pick up. He requested a minute to have a look around, which means I head to the gardening section. Now if this were the Central Library I could keep myself busy for hours with the rows and rows of garden related books, however we have our holds sent to the Hollywood Branch which has just a few small, very sparsely populated, shelves dedicated to gardening. Maybe that's why the little paperback titled "From the Ground Up - The Story of a First Garden" caught my eye, no big glamorous picture books to distract me. Ah....Amy Stewart, a name I recognize (the blog Garden Rant, the books Flower Confidential and Wicked Plants). I opened it and started reading. I was hooked. I told my husband I would be outside, I checked it out, walked outside, sat down in the sun to read.

Later, at home, I picked it up again. It was a lazy Saturday evening, nothing planned, the sun was still shining. I read some more. Pretty soon the sun had set and I was still reading. I don't know exactly why this book had such a hold on me. The topic, the writing style, my all just clicked. Before I knew it I had finished the entire book, all 261 pages. I laughed (she throws snails into the street because she wants to get rid of them but doesn’t want to squish them), I cried (it involves leaving a garden behind, and not just the plants...but that's all I'll give away) and I learned a few things. After I finished the book I added it to the pile of books going back to the library, and that was that.

Then tonight I was listening to Pink Martini as I made dinner.
The title song ‘Splendor in the Grass’ had me thinking about the book again…the lyrics…"Life is moving oh-so-fast - I think we should take it slow - Rest our heads upon the grass - And listen to it grow"

That's it. Exactly the mood that reading the book put me into. Slowing down and just enjoying listening to the grass grow. I recommend it.


  1. Well, I love Pink Martini, so maybe we have the same taste in books, too! I've been meaning to read an Amy Stewart book for ages. Thanks for the prompt.

  2. I was just telling my mother-in-law about Amy's snail tossing this weekend! I love that book.

  3. Funny--I used to do the same with snails myself. Give the little guys a sporting chance, I thought.

    Sounds like a book to keep an eye out for. I've enjoyed Amy Stewart's other writings.

  4. I've read that book and really enjoyed it too. Speaking of memoirs about creating a first garden, have you read Scott Calhoun's Yard Full of Sun? Totally different in feel from Amy's book, and yet very engaging. It involves a lot of Danger plants. I think you'd enjoy it.

  5. I've been meaning to read Amy Stewart -- haven't read a single book of hers yet. But Pink Martini, this band I'd never heard of (even though they guest-appeared at L.A.'s Gehry/Disney concert hall grand opening!) I like the quote from Wiki: "If the United Nations had a house band in 1962 hopefully Pink Martini would be that band." Good stuff.

  6. AnonymousMay 01, 2010

    Hello! Thanks for the book recommendation. Will definitely check it out. Enjoying your blog.

  7. Sounds like a good book, I just put it on hold at our library.

  8. Andrea, Flower Confidential is also a worthy read! Totally different feel but great reading!

    Meg S, I've got slugs not snails...somehow not as satisfying to toss, how 'bout you?

    James, I'm not sure how much of a sporting chance that is! Maybe if it's a quiet road!

    Pam, haven't heard of it but it's going on my list right now! Thank you!

    Denise, great quote!

    myimaginarygarden, hope you enjoy it!

    MTJulie, aren't library holds the best!!!?

  9. This book is going on my already-too-long library holds list. I love Amy Stewart but hadn't seen this title before. Nice review. Yes, sometimes we just need to sit down and listen to the grass grow! It's easy to get caught up in the to-do lists, constant communication demands, etc. and forget to just do nothing sometimes. Glad you found the right moment for that to happen.

  10. Karen, yes! I am so glad you understand. I hope that you have this book in hand at just the right moment too.


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