Mentors in the Garden of Life: Book Review

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7 comments

Colleen Plimpton

Colleen Plimpton

Gardening teaches you about life, it’s often been said, and Colleen Plimpton, in Mentors in the Garden of Life, makes this connection explicit. Each essay in her memoir pairs an influential person in her life with a plant. I always tried to guess how the plant and the person were tied together, and I was almost never right. I take that back: no almost about it!

I met Colleen at the Rochester (NY) flower and garden show when she was speaking there in March 2011. If I had read her book before we met, I would have known an awful lot about her. My, what a childhood she had! The adults in her growing-up years didn’t hesitate to teach her some of life’s lessons, but she had great liberty to roam the land around her house and interact with the natural world. It is fun to trace her interest in plants through her life, until it blossoms into a full-fledged career, just as she’s retiring from her “real” job. On the way of course, we meet the many people who mentored her, or taught her something valuable, at key points in her life.

At the end of every essay, there is a profile of the plant that’s been woven into that particular story. All the information you need to successfully grow the plant is included, as well as “interesting asides” about each plant. If you are a novice gardener, you will be introduced to new plants that you will want to grow, if for no other reason than there are now stories associatated with them in your mind. And if you already know every one of these plants, you will still smile at how it was woven into Colleen’s life, and perhaps remember how that same plant came into your garden, as well.

Colleen gave me her book to review. I’ve tried to present my honest and unbiased opinion of it. I am an Amazon affiliate, and if you click through the book links and buy something on Amazon I will earn a small commission.

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.

In its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

7 Comments… add one

Pascal T December 13, 2013, 3:28 pm

Thnak you Kathy for your great contribution !

Jenny December 11, 2013, 2:14 pm

I agree with Gail, perfect book for a rainy day!

commonweeder December 9, 2013, 12:41 pm

I met Colleen at a GWA meeting a couple of years ago. I think her book is brilliant – and it reminded me of all the people who have influenced me and my garden.

Gail December 9, 2013, 10:10 am

Sounds like a good read for a dray and wintery day.

Donna@Gardens Eye View December 8, 2013, 8:12 pm

Kathy I love the idea of this book…I will check it out.

Dee Nash December 7, 2013, 3:26 pm

Very good review Kathy!

Charlie@Seattle Trekker December 6, 2013, 9:57 pm

It sounds really interesting, I am going to see if I can’t find a copy.

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