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Deep in the Green: An Exploration of Country Pleasures Paperback – April 30, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679767983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679767985
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

She may have dirt under her fingernails, but New York Times gardening columnist Raver writes with the pen of an angel. In prose marked by eloquence, humor and generosity of spirit, she opens her garden?and her heart?and invites readers to share her enthusiasms and knowledge. The 58 essays here, her first collection, cover such subjects as earthworms, cricket manure and Latin nomenclature; push mowers and the virtues of humble peas (whose habit of enriching the soil with nitrogen makes them "like the perfect house guests?who always leave gifts after their stay"). Often hilarious, as in the discourse on an unguent created for cows' udders that doubles handily as a face cream, her reflections become poignant when matters of the garden lead to musings on such larger life issues as a parent's aging or the loss of a beloved pet. Although Raver's garden writing is both informed and practical, it's her glorious digressions that readers will most relish?her passion for the obsession called gardening?and the opportunity to visit over the back fence with a kindred spirit.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this collection of brief essays on nature, life, and occasionally gardening, the garden columnist of the New York Times ranges widely, musing on the life of the sea turtle and the dangers of chemical pest control, how weeding the vegetable patch can lead to planning a rose arbor, and the satisfaction of mowing a lawn with a hand mower. Many essays are autobiographical, ranging in setting from Long Island to Brooklyn to the family farm in Maryland as Raver explores the challenge of gardening wherever she lives with her dog, Molly, and her cat, Mrs. Grey. Raver is at her best when she describes how, against her principles, she used chemical sprays on her father's roses in order to bring blooms to his hospital bedside. For all whose minds roam while they are on their knees in the garden.
Molly Newling, Piscataway P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Some passages read like letters from a sister or a good friend.
Dianne Foster
This is a wonderful book that reads more as a story about a person who gardens and loves nature than as a "gardening book".
Laurel
It's one of the few such books that I expect to re-read and refer to again.
John Kramer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is more personally revealing than the garden columns Anne Raver usually writes for the New York Times. Her columns tend to be filled with practical advice interspersed with personal anecdotal information. In her book, Raver writes reflectively about her return to the family farm in Maryland and gardening in her 'single' flat in NYC after her divorce.
Ms. Raver reveals she has discovered gardening can provide a theraputic outlet, that it is a healing actitivy that helps one maintain balance through life's trials. She shares a tidbits of her inner life as she struggles to maintian equilibrium and deal with being single, aging parents, and a farm that can be a challenge most of the time. Some passages read like letters from a sister or a good friend.
The New York Times boasts several garden writers, and a circulation that encompasses much of the Northeast. I enjoy Anne's column, though I haven't seen it as much as I used to, which leads me to hope she may be working on another book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Susan Landry on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Anne Raver is a gardening columnist for the New York Times, and whenever I see her byline, I settle in for what feels like a letter from a dear friend. Her observations about life, plant life, family connections to soil, her emotional links to land and growing things is deeply felt and expressed. Deep in the Green is a wonderful compilation of essays about gardens she's had, houses and communities where she's lived, people and pets lucky enough to share her warmth. She writes beautifully; I have given this book to several friends as they've discovered gardening, but I first read it when I lived in an apartment in Brooklyn, and the only gardens were in my dreams.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas L. Ogren on November 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
People who get the New York Times and read the garden section are probably totally familiar with Anne Raver's writing, but those in other parts of the country may not be. For many years she was the garden editor of the NY Times and although I don't think she holds this position any longer, I still do find her articles now and then in the Times.
I am a garden writer myself (Allergy-Free Gardening, Safe Sex in the Garden) and I read the work of as many different garden writers as I can. I especially try to read as much material as possible from writers who write for newspapers, since so often they are tuned in to the most current tastes in horticulture. Then too, as a writer I always appreciate extra quality work when I read it, work such as that of Ann Raver (who by the way, I don't know and have never met.)
Deep in the Green: An Exploration of Country Pleasures is a little book but it's packed with useful gardening tidbits and the writing is superb. Like some other reviewers of this book, I too would like to see another book from her, perhaps a sequel to Deep in the Green. I am always on the lookout for neat little books on gardening to give as presents to my friends who garden, and this one is always a hit. A collection of articles published first in the Times, each chapter here is lively, charming, often darn funny, and in the tradition of great garden writers (especially some of the great English writers), the material is based on true life garden adventures, and it is always close and personal. If you've never read any of Ann Raver's work, I suggest you give it a try. Almost anyone who loves to garden and read will enjoy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jena Ball on January 12, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Welcome to the world of Anne Raver as seen through her garden. Here you will meet her loveable old dog Molly, "a twelve -year-old Saint Bernard squished into a setter's body with some collie thrown in," and Mr. Grey a long-haired feline acrobat that endears himself to both Molly and the author despite all their efforts to dislike him.
Here too you learn about Raver herself as she plots and plans her gardens, agonizes about a move to a new house, struggles with insects and pesticides, life in the city versus the pull of her country roots, and her conflicted if loving relationship with her parents. Raver's interests, even with gardening as a base, are eclectic and far ranging. In one essay she waxes eloquent, though tongue in cheek, about breaking the law by growing poppies. In another she tells how she came to discover that cricket manure is a great fertilizer. In a third she tells of her triumph over a paralyzing fear of climbing ladders. All in all it's a wonderful stroll through one woman's life with plenty of amusing observation and touching insight thrown in.
My one complaint was that the length of the essays (they are reprints of articles Raver wrote for The New York Times) often means that the reader is left wanting to know more, to hear how a story ended, how a problem was resolved, whether or not Raver ever finds a man she can co-habitat with, what finally happens to the old family homestead. While I realize this is a limitation of the genre, I am hoping that Raver will eventually sit down and write a non-stop tale of her rich and varied life. Otherwise this is a wonderful, uplifting read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Alberigi McKenzie VINE VOICE on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Now that summer has reached its peak and the gophers have snatched my tomatoes; the pressure's off. Either it is or it isn't a Better Homes and Garden garden. (It isn't) And once again I can enjoy reading gardening books and begin plans for next year's successes and for overcoming this year's failures.

Anne Raver, garden columnist for the New York Times, has written a truly funny and charming book in which she shares her own successes and failures.

Raver offers interesting perspectives on the familiar: from the arrival of the tomato seeds via postal carrier to the introduction of a cat into her dog-loving ( and cat hating) household. Just so you aren't kept in suspense, the tomato lives and the cat is loved but both had to overcome a few obstacles.

The Dirt On Earthworms presents these little fellows in a new light. "Aristotle called earthworms `the intestines of the earth'..[It] is barely more than a digestive tract, with just enough brain to shovel food in one end and send nitrogen-rich humus out the other." One of Darwin's volunteer earthworm watchers (yes, there is a hobby for everyone) noted `with interest' that earthworms plug up the mouths of their burrows at night. She even went out, lantern in hand, to watch their evening activities. There she discovered that they affix their tails to their burrows and grabbing stones in their mouths, pull them back to the entrance. From this Darwin surmised "Earthworms...were civilized enough to seek comfort." Hmmm.

Other chapters include "A Plant Is Not An It", "Never Say Thank You For A Plant", "The Year Of The Tomato", and "Gandhi Gardening". However, this is not just another `how I learned to live in harmony with nature by crawling on my belly in the garden' book.
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