I am sure I first read A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season in 1998, the year it was published. I may have been the first person to pull it off the library book shelf and take it home. It had everything I ever want in a garden book: great photos that actually illustrate the text, and text that makes you think about the “why” of gardening as well teaching you a thing or two.
Well, the book is now a blog. That’s the best way I can put it. Margaret Roach, who was the gardening editor at Martha Stewart Living when she wrote A Way to Garden and who was the editor at MSL when she retired (at a very young age), has started a blog, which is not a promotional buy-my-book type of site, but is more like what the book would have been if it had never had to end, a conversation that just continues . . .
And it does seem that Margaret is interested in conversing. As best I can tell, she is more faithful about responding to comments than (ahem) I have been (sorry about that, dear readers) and has started forums to extend the conversation further. Her many years in the publishing industry are evident. Her website is wonderfully well designed, with lots of helpful information in the sidebar and something almost unheard of amongst us amateurs: a section on upcoming posts. Yes, she plans ahead. Those years of putting out a magazine on time and perhaps under budget continue to influence her writing habits. It is a discipline I admire but can’t hope to emulate in the near future.
I first learned of her blog when her post on eranthis showed up in my stats. Unbeknownst to me, she had joined in the conversation about winter aconites; my post was never pinged, and at first I thought someone had clicked on my site in her blogroll. Soon after, while attempting to catch up on my favorite blogs, I realized Colleen had already made note of A Way to Garden, the blog. And as I still haven’t caught up on all the blogging that went on while I was in Austin and has continued since, there may be others who have already made note of this new and ambitious blog, but I have to put my own two cents in.
No one is credited with the design, so I am wondering if Ms. Roach did everything, the whole design and setup, herself. If so, she has certainly done her homework, learning the ins and outs of WordPress, the niceties of web standards, and the quirks of cascading style sheets. And if she’s had help, well, don’t they deserve a mention in the footer?
Well, what are you waiting for? Go check it out! And if you heard it first from me, tell her Kathy sent you.