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One Man's Garden Paperback – April 14, 1999


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One Man's Garden + The Essential Earthman: Henry Mitchell on Gardening + Henry Mitchell on Gardening
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st Mariner Books Ed edition (April 14, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395957699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395957691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Mitchell is a miracle in the world of garden writing, where so much careful prose instructs with patronizing intent. Henry Mitchell blazes, bullies, roars, then whispers, awed by the beauty he enables us to see through his eyes. This is a man who once took two weeks off from work so that he could watch his iris bloom. Here his failures and foibles are cataloged along with his triumphant successes. He grew water lilies from seed, achieving a single plant instead of the expected 50, but as he admits, 50 would really have been a bit much, while one seedling water lily became a source of considerable delight to the proud parent. To prevent heat stroke in water-lily season (Washington, D.C., summers are fierce), he cooled off by eating iced Walla Walla onion sandwiches as he gazed at the flowers for two or three minutes at a stretch before the intense heat won out. Quirky, funny, wise, and impassioned, this book is a lasting treat, the kind that rewards each year's rereading with fresh insights and heartfelt laughter. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Washington Post columnist Mitchell ( The Essential Earthman ) brings together a year's worth of wry observations about the peculiarities and pleasures of gardening in this anthology. His book, designed primarily for small town gardens of less than a quarter-acre, and written from the relatively balmy perspective of Washington, D.C. (climatic zone 5), is the perfect makings of a winter read for those planning next year's garden. Mitchell's chatty style is entertaining as well as informative, and he mixes details of garden advice with liberal doses of Johnsonian philosophy, appropriately noting the vanity of human wishes, the defeat of a gardener's best intentions, and the joy of the unexpected and unplanned. While it contains some unnecessary repetition (perhaps less noticeable when the material was published as a weekly column), the collection manages to include a surprising range of topics, plants and personal asides. Water gardeners in particular will enjoy Mitchell's obsession with water lilies, other aquatic plants and fish. Other essays touch on wildlife in town gardens, and the ineradicable nature of bindweed. The book is divided into 12 chapters corresponding to months of the year, each introduced with an attractive line drawing by Susan Davis.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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He spoke from experience and from his heart. .
C. Lucas
Although his essays contain information helpful to those working in Zone 7, the reader can glean sage advice applicable anywhere.
Dianne Foster
If you love gardening and you haven't read Henry Mitchell , you are in for a treat.
Sarah M. Newell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on January 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Okay, it's the middle of winter, Christmas is past, and now is the time to break out the gardening catalogs and begin plotting the new growing year. According to Henry Mitchell, we can enjoy the garden year-round if we plan strategically and the middle of winter is a good time to begin.
Mr. Mitchell wrote two weekly columns for the Washington Post for a number of years--one of them a garden column I never missed reading. His garden columns have been preserved in several books. ONE MAN'S GARDEN follows his first book THE ESSENTIAL EARTHMAN which spread his well-earned reputation as a garden guru far beyond the Post market area. These two books were published while he was alive so one must assume they were collections of his favorite essays. The essays are arranged by season and correspond to the months he wrote them.
Mitchell can be read by gardeners living anywhere. Although his essays contain information helpful to those working in Zone 7, the reader can glean sage advice applicable anywhere. He shares anecdotes about his experiences in his own backyard, and while that might seem far from novel as every other Tom, Dick, and Henrietta is writing a garden book these days, his essays are the best. His writing is funny, philosophical, useful, and a joy to read, especially on a cold winter day when you need to be reminded of irridescent dragonflies hovering over lily ponds (former horse troughs).
In his essay on dragonfiles (July) he informs us they require lily pads for landing, they can't just plop on the water like a pelican. This little item helped me understand I needed to do more to make my back yard friendly to butterflies, dragon flies, and their insect kin. I now have shallow spots in my birdbaths where they can dip their tiny feet.
Mr.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a delight and a pleasure to read aloud. The author has helped us focus on spring planting even though the wind chill factor has been -35 degrees most of the weekend. One Man's Garden helps "cure" the cabin fever that rages at this time of year in the northeast. Well worth the money it's a refreshing window into the love of gardening.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By good cook on January 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
This collection of Henry Mitchell's essays, mostly from his Washington Post gardening column, should stand as an example of how to write. Mr. Mitchell wrote as he spoke; simply, but eloquently and with a wink. His wry sense of humor and disdain for posturing are evident throughout his work. I believe his essay on sunflowers to be the most enjoyable piece of garden writing in existence.
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By C. Bosacki on July 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Realistic and funny. I am totally enjoying every essay!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great read. If you love gardening and you haven't read Henry Mitchell , you are in for a treat.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved reading the crazed efforts to grow things out of temp zone, although his mud mess on the carpet tops my tales of enlisting husband and sons to lug huge pots up and down the stairs every fall and spring. That further supports my decision to get rid of carpeting all together, and stick with rugs over nice flooring! Going month by month is how gardeners think-the wheel of the year so to speak. I most enjoyed being reminded that my obsessions aren't so crazy after all, no matter what non-gardeners think.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Delightful, dry,self-deprecating sense of humour, coupled with uncompromising opinions about how much "improvement" of plants is too much. I laughed til I cried, and one does not often laugh over garden columns. Lots of great design ideas, and plant specific advice. A great read. There are two other collections from this sadly deceased gardening writer, that do not seem to be available in ebooks as yet. The Essential Earthman precedes One Man's Garden, but I am not sure of the title of the later one. Please, Amazon, hurry to make both available!
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