Spring Has Sprung

oh-garden-of-fresh-possibilities.jpgSpring has sprung! And today, Jennifer shares a recommendation for the book Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden. Read on for Jennifer's review, as well as to learn how to be one of three winners to receive a copy of Oh Garden:

"One of the things I love about New England is the intensity of the seasons. Their unmuted variety -- from snowstorm to heat wave, spring swell to autumn's unabashed palette -- reminds me of the earth's strong rhythms, and the corresponding ebbs and flows in my own nature. But unlike early winter -- with the sparkle of fresh snowflakes and the cheer of holiday gatherings -- late winter can feel heavy and dull and cold, and leaves me deeply yearning for signs of spring.
What a gift, then, to read Kim Smith's Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes From A Gloucester Garden. Using her own small garden as a backdrop, Smith deftly guides her reader along every stage of cultivation -- from quiet observation, through planning and planting, and finally among the blooms -- sharing successes, failures, and surprises along the way. Bursting with information, yet much more than a how-to guide, Oh Garden reads like a meditation. Smith envelops the senses with lyrical prose and exquisite watercolor illustrations, infusing poetry and wisdom from across the ages to tap into the soul of the gardener -- which insists that the garden's beauty stems not from finished product, but from the cultivation itself.

Oh Garden will arm novice gardeners with all the information and inspiration needed to get started. Smith's gentle guidance makes those early days in the garden -- with their seemingly endless array of choices -- less overwhelming. As I read her accounts of her own decisions of what and where to plant, I was reminded that there is no single "right way" to create a garden space -- that gardening is equal parts art and science. More experienced gardeners also will enjoy this book, feeling refreshed by new ideas and affirmed by Smith's shared and obvious love for the hobby they already enjoy.

As I finished reading this book, and I expect as a result, winter's last days seemed slightly less gray. Smith's appreciation of nature's details surely informed my noticing of an early-returning bird's morning song, the faint smell of earth beyond the melting snow, and brave bulbs just pressing from the soil. The book inspired me to begin planning some much-needed reformations to my own garden, and, following Smith's instructions, coaxed my first winter blooms, which proved a wonderful reminder that spring was just around the corner."

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Congrats to winners Rebecca, Karen, and Kate!
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Now, want to be one of three winners to receive a copy of Oh Garden? Here's how:

  • Visit Kim Smith's event page, then email contests@bostonmamas.com (with 'Garden' in the subject), and name an upcoming event that you'd love to check out, either alone or with your kids.

  • One entry permitted per person; US entrants welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

    *Three lucky winners (drawn using Random.org) will receive a copy of Oh Garden ($35 value).