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Mentors in the Garden of Life Paperback – May 1, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The memories read like heart-warming short stories, the characters real enough to be those in your life. ...it's easy to imagine being the teen in hand-me-down denim peering at a bumpy white cauliflower in Uncle Frank's garden. And to appreciate how morning glories made friends for life. -- Kathy Huber, Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News

Mentors is different from any gardening book I have read. The pages are filled with people who coloured Colleen's life with the love of gardening... This is an exceptional book. If you read it, you will remember. More importantly, you will mentor. --Dan Clost, book reviewer, Quinte West EMC, Ontario, Canada


Colleen has written an autobiography of herself as a social worker, a gardener, a friend, a daughter-mother-wife, a mentor, and someone you feel you have known for years... Buy it for yourself and someone else who loves plants as much as we who see our friends and families in the faces of our flowers.-- Molly Day, blog, All the Dirt on Gardening


Mentors is homage to the gardeners who have made an impression on the author over the years. In another sense, it's a deeply personal memoir about the intertwined lessons of life and gardening. On a third level, it's a snapshot of bygone America. -- Will Rowlands, Connecticut Gardener

In her memoir Mentors in the Garden of Life, Colleen Plimpton traces her development as a person and a gardener to a childhood spent on a farm in upstate New York . The countryside surrounding Rochester provides the setting in which we meet stern grandparents, a loving great aunt, and a young uncle, whose premature death made a deep impression upon his niece. Thus, Colleen learned early the importance of realizing life while we live it, the message of Thornton Wilder s play Our Town, and she became a keen observer of everything around her. What attracted her attention most were the plants, wild and cultivated, and she has been paying attention to them ever since. Learning lessons along the way from both plants and people, she writes about these encounters with touching affection. --Sydney Eddison, Gardening for a Lifetime; How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older

My taste in gardening books normally runs to reference works like those from Michael Dirr or The American Horticultural Society. But this one from Colleen Plimpton may just change my reading habits. I found myself positively captured by her descriptions of family life in rural upstate New York . "Go outside to play" had an entirely different meaning to me, a city mouse. Yet Colleen's word pictures and descriptions put me precisely in the same places she described: climbing trees, finding cow bones, and fishing in the local creek. After reading this book I now feel that I've somehow had the experience of growing up on a farm. This is a heartwarming and pleasurable read that you'll find yourself going back to for the lessons it subtly and gently conveys. Colleen's clear writing style and sense of peace are strong magnets for anyone who enjoys digging in the dirt. --Lorraine Ballato, garden writer and author of Successful Self-Watering Containers

About the Author

Colleen Plimpton trained at the New York Botanical Garden where she now teaches classes in composting. She tends an acre of award-winning ornamental gardens in Connecticut where she teaches composting, composition, color and other elements of gardening. She maintains an active schedule of lecturing at flower shows, garden clubs and libraries.
 
A member of the Garden Writers of America, Colleen writes an award-winning garden column for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group and she is currently working on a new book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Park East Press, Inc.; First edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982529201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982529201
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,379,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Colleen Plimpton's Mentors in the Garden of Life was an easy-read, informational, and thought-provoking couple hours for me. She writes clearly, making it easy to 'see' what life in the formative years was like for her and much of her family, seigeing into her gardening interests, trials she went through with both, and - frankly - wrote what I have often felt myself about the time in the garden, how it relates to one's life experiences, and how one truly is influenced by people met and gardened with. Highly recommended for gardeners (the end piece of each chapter has valuable information on particular plants) and non-gardeners - just an enjoyable read all around!
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Format: Paperback
Gardens are more than just a plot of plants. "Mentors in the Garden of Life" is a gardening memoir from Colleen Plimpton who states how her garden formed a connection with her life and taught her much about herself and her world through her work. Blending humor and tragedy, "Mentors in the Garden of Life" is a fun read with plenty to teach would-be gardeners about the joys they do not yet know.
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Format: Paperback
Colleen Plimpton's Mentors in the Garden of Life is inspiring for gardeners, but also for anyone who appreciates things that grow and anyone who has ever been a child. The way she weaves her short stories around people and nature is inspiring. You get so wrapped up in her wonderful writing that you don't even realize you have learned gardening lessons and life lessons. You learn how to help plants and relationships grow into something you can be proud of. The wit and wisdom in this book will stay with me for a long time. I'm looking forward to more works from this wonderful writer.
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Format: Paperback
This delightful book is not just for gardeners! While I loved the lessons learned from Colleen's growing love of growing plants, this book was a heartwarming and intimate sharing of the life lessons we learn from the people in our lives from childhood through our adult years. The individual stories which make up each chapter are honest and expertly written. I feel like I have made new friends. And of course the gardening expertise flows out of each page. Now I have a life goal to walk in Colleen's garden.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is going to win awards. This book goes beyond a first rate gardening book which tells how to make and grow beautiful flowers etc. The 30 plus short stories about each plant, tree, garden animal, etc makes me each of mine more because of the meaning behind each one and how it relates to the family and life. Anyone who can make me look at a Compost pile(chapter 13)and enjoy looking at it because of its personal meaning deserves some kind award.
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Format: Paperback
Appealing on several levels, this book is informative, insightful and entertaining. How delightful to take stock of the contributors of a life and connect it to something as tangible as a plant and as elusive as the miracle of ones own garden; uniquely orchestrated to produce such individual and personal beauty.
Though I am not a gardener, I am a tiller of the soil of my own soul and appreciate the ability to review ones life, obtaining revelation and giving thanks. Colleen Pimpton has produced a delightful and comfortable read.
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Format: Paperback
I truly enjoyed reading this book. But I didn't read it in one sitting. I chose to delay gratification, opting for a few delicious chapters a day. This is absolutely a book to curl up with. The personal stories are so heartwarming and the author's excitement is contagious. I've never gardened, but Colleen Plimpton's Mentors in the Garden of Life has inspired me!
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book because I could relate to many of the experiences in it. And I'm not even a gardener! Imagine how much more I could identify with it if I was. But it did bring forth memories that were long forgotten but worth remembering.

Sweet and powerful. Well written and worth reading, gardener or not.
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