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Our Life in Gardens


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About the Author

Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd are the co-authors of The Year at North Hill: Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden and Living Seasonally: The Kitchen and the Table at North Hill. They are co-founders of the garden design firm North Hill, and live in Vermont.


Garden designers Eck and Winterrowd (coauthors, The Year at North Hill: Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden and Living Seasonally: The Kitchen and the Table at North Hill) take us back to their garden, North Hill, in an essay collection to be especially savored on cold, snowy winter nights while eagerly awaiting spring. The short essays cover everything from boxwood to primroses to vegetable gardens and allow the authors to share their favorite plants, their successes and failures, the trials and rewards of gardening in a cold climate, and the evolution of their gardening, both indoors and out, over several decades. Packed with useful information and myriad plants, lovingly described, for gardeners to try in their own gardens, their book also eloquently conveys the importance of plants and gardening in their lives. Lyrically written, this true pleasure is recommended for public and horticultural libraries.-Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Plants, like words in poetry," observe Eck and Winterrowd (founders of the Vermont garden design firm North Hill), "are both beautiful in themselves and also for the associations they trail behind, the histories they have in the world and in one's own life." In nearly 50 erudite and entertaining essays stretching alphabetically from Agapanthus to Xanthorrhoea quadrangulate, Eck and Winterrowd share the history of their Vermont garden, writing about the plants they have lived with, nurtured and nourished, in a sort of inverse family memoir, where the parent remembers the children-the trouble-free, the troubling and the troubled. "Helleborus orientalis," for example, "is an entirely amiable plant," while the "wisteria flower most freely under abuse... violent root pruning and frequent hacking back of top growth to encourage abundant flower." Any gardener may find its specific (and sometime technical) advice helpful, but walkers among gardens and those who dream of gardening will find special pleasure in plant lore and history and in the lucid descriptions that render them visible. Eck and Winterrowd describe their book as "a mixed bag, a gypsy trunk of this and that," but treasure chest is more accurate; the essays are gems, not baubles. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd have collaborated on another fine book. Our Life inGardens is a charming, helpful, and confident text, a guiding hand that turns into a reassuring hug." --Ken Druse, author of The Passion for Gardening"For more than thirty years, Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd have been gardening with extraordinary, indeed legendary, results. Part memoir, part omnium-gatherum of horticultural wisdom and practical advice, Our Life in Gardens is at once literate, learned, sensible, and, often, sheer luscious poetry. There are delights to be sampled on every page. From a cultivated life, they have brought forth, once again, a cultivated book." --Philip Gambone, author of Beijing"What a treat it is to settle down with Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd's Our Life in Gardens. Part memoir, part stories of plants and design, this volume radiates charm and humor while offering precious tidbits of wisdom. A delicious read." --Page Dickey, author of Duck Hill Journal: A Year in a Country Garden"This is a wonderful book. If you are already a gardener, this will spur you on to new heights. If you are thinking about being a gardener, it will offer you a new world." --Roxana Robinson, author of Cost

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