People with Dirty Hands: Garden bloggers’ book club

– Posted in: Book reviews

I have been re-reading People with Dirty Hands: The Passion for Gardening by Robin Chotzinoff for the Garden Bloggers Book Club. Just like last time, I am amazed by her ability to ferret these eccentric gardeners out, and in awe of her willingness to drive hundreds of miles to talk to total strangers, some of whom are very weird.

This time I am a little more familiar with some of the gardeners she visits. I’ve actually grown seeds from Renee Shepherd’s company and read articles by Lucy Hardiman. And I almost met Robin herself at the Garden Bloggers’ Spring Fling. Almost. She was there, but we didn’t cross paths.

Because it is a collection of only loosely connected vignettes, this is a great book to read when you need to pass time with plenty of interruptions: airline layovers, hospital waiting rooms, maybe even the beach. Each little story is amusing or thought-provoking, or both, but you don’t have to remember the plot or the cast of characters, as they often change several times within a chapter.

Be prepared for a trip down memory lane, a spark of inspiration, or just the comforting thought that there are other people out there just as crazy about gardening as you. And maybe even weirder.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

Comments on this entry are closed.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens August 5, 2008, 8:57 pm

@ Dee/reddirtramblings “She does love the wacky. That’s for sure.”

No wonder she ended up in South Austin!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens July 30, 2008, 10:30 pm

I agree with what you wrote, in Robin’s book we can find stories about people as crazy about gardening as some of us. Or weirder. I enjoyed reading it, having read it for the first time for the book club.

Thanks for joining in for the book club again.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter July 30, 2008, 2:09 pm

It is amazing there are people weirder than I am! I missed meeting her too at Spring Fling, but I did enjoy reading her book. It does read like a collection of short stories.

Annie in Austin July 30, 2008, 11:31 am

Lori went home with my 10-year old copy after Spring Fling so I’m not posting a review but am enjoying your take, Kathy. How did we both just miss meeting Robin that day?

When I bought the book we lived in IL – a Hatch pepper meant nothing to me – but that chapter jumped out when I reread the book after moving to Texas.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Dee/reddirtramblings July 30, 2008, 1:10 am

I picked it up again and started reading it. Plan to write my post tomorrow or Thurs. I think she has a wonderful voice and she conveys a great sense of place. She does love the wacky. That’s for sure.~~Dee

Benjamin July 29, 2008, 11:41 pm

Thanks for that quick review, Kathy. I’d never heard of this book, but it sounds like yet another purchase is around the corner for me.