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Gardening At Ginger: My Seven-Year Obsession With Designing And Planting A Personal Landscape

Seven years ago, James Raimes and his wife bought a country home on nine acres in upstate New York. In the tradition of their family, who once owned a cottage named Fred, this larger property became "Ginger." Inspired by the natural beauty of the land and a desire to learn how to be a gardener, Raimes found himself obsessed with such questions as why gardeners keep moving plants around, what the names of the lawn grasses are, and how one can impose order in a garden and at the same time make it look natural. What, in fact, defines a garden?Gardening at Ginger is full of successes and failures, aches and pains, frustrations and delights. But more than that, it's the story of a great discovery: as we try to shape a landscape to reflect who we are, we find that who we are has been reshaped in the process.

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition (May 24, 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0618659714

ISBN-13: 978-0618659715

Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #2,505,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #98 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Region > Middle Atlantic #589 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays

Raimes' recounting of his "growing" obsession is subtle, graceful and altogether involving. He includes lots of background from his English childhood, gardening experts he's consulted and absorbed, his sometimes bemused wife who nevertheless stands by his often backbreaking, daylight hour devouring transformation of a landscape into areas of inviting woods, stonework, flower beds, greensward, specimen trees and water. It made me stop and think in a new way about my own gardening and enriched my understanding of what all gardeners do.

What an amazing and enchanting book! So different from the run of the mill "how to". The author shares his plans, dreams, hopes, experiences with the reader. (After completing the chapter on Digging in Clay, I was so exhausted that I needed a lie down to recover.) Please can we have a sequel or at least a blog with photos and maps. I want to see it all.

The essays and stories that make up Gardening at Ginger are about things like greenness (the color, not the movement), the author's city-born-and-bred wife's reaction to insects that get indoors (not hospitable) and where to place a bench. James Raimes' writing is by turns personable, erudite, witty and earnest, and his book goes a long way toward explaining why gardening, an activity that regularly leaves its practitioners filthy, pooped and bleeding, also makes them so happy.

Seven years ago the author and his wife bought a country home on nine acres in upstate New York, calling it 'Ginger' and evoking in him a desire to learn about plants and gardening. Raimes grew up in England, so his instinct in this area was always there: his desire to shape a landscape proved challenging, however, and GARDENING AT GINGER: MY SEVEN-YEAR OBSESSION WITH DESIGNING AND PLANTING A PERSONAL LANDSCAPE reviews his efforts, achievements and failures alike. A vivid memoir of the 'gardening bug' involves all.Diane C. DonovanCalifornia Bookwatch

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