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Grace in the Garden: Thirty Years of Blunders and Bliss Paperback – April 9, 2014
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About the Author
Grace Peterson, certified Master Gardener, is an author, garden columnist, and blogger who lives in western Oregon. Her memoir, Reaching, was awarded the gold standard of literary excellence by Princeton Literary Review.
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At one point, she notes that every garden is a reflection, and a form of artistic expression, of the person creating it. In the Chapter “Healthy Escapism,” she says that “Years ago, I read that gardeners, whether they were aware of it or not, attempt to mimic special places they enjoyed during their childhood.” Although she and her siblings had a difficult family life, they were able to escape to the outdoors. Her evocative description of the “river property in Southern Oregon” places the reader there. In her several gardens over the years, she has tried to recreate this “oasis.”
The “blunders and bliss” reflect the trial and error that goes into gardening: should that be in the shade, that soil, near water? By talking to other gardeners and joining gardening clubs she continued to learn and her garden prospered. She is often rearranging her garden, as plants show signs of stress or turn out to be the kind that spread all over. The planning and design, the latest fad in plants, the loss of a shrub or tree that has become part of your life, perennials versus annuals, all this will be familiar to any gardener.
I enjoyed this book and will return to it, walking in wherever I feel like that day and observing what is growing, what is not doing so well, and sharing with the author her excitement at a new plant or a row of roses in full bloom.