Published by Sasquatch Books, Seattle
© 1998 ISBN 1-57061-139-4
Writing by Ann Lovejoy is, as always, a pleasure to read.
first new collection of essays since "The
Border in Bloom" (Sasquatch, 1990), Lovejoy writes about "the art,
philosophy, work and pleasure of gardening." So say her publishers,
Sasquatch Books, of the newest release, "The Garden in Bloom: Plants &
Wisdom for the Year-Round Gardener in the Pacific Northwest."
About the now-legendary
Northwest garden inspiration,
freelance writer Brenda Bell once noted, "Her knowledge and enthusiasm for
gardening is infectious, expressed in lyrical, deft prose. And she's
She certainly is.
In 276 pages in this
year's perennial, local bestseller,
Lovejoy again tackles the seasons of gardening, the constant joy and change
that is the garden, and the wonders of life interposed and as seen through the
life of the garden. Like some of its predecessors, chapters of "The
Garden" are specifically dedicated to times of the year.
With enchanting prose, Lovejoy
takes the reader on a
family visit to the local nursery ("... family trips can brighten those
interminable days when the skies seemed determined to empty themselves on our
gardens," p. 9); through a garden move ("I felt fiercely protective
toward the wonderful plants that would be left behind," p. 126); and ends
just after the homey tale of being happily burdened with three uniquely
different trees for Christmas (p. 258-260).
Strangely, the book ends on a sad note–a
sentiment called "The Gift of Light," in which she recommends "a
personal sunbeam" for those affected with seasonal affective disorder, or
the simple sadness that comes from lack of sunlight. The specialty lamps will
offer a lift to downtrodden house plants as well, she says with encouragement.
Indoor Sun Shoppe is referenced in these
final pages, Lovejoy makes a point of letting her readers know where to go for
ideas and supplies. Her chapters are interspersed with tidbit-size
"resources," which also break up the monotony of page after page of
verse (unlike most garden texts, there are no pictures in this book).
marks Lovejoy's 10th publishing
accomplishment: Until now, the most recent was "Cascadia: Inspired
Gardening in the Pacific Northwest" (1997). Don't be fooled by that title:
All of Lovejoy's recommendations are "inspired."
She is often recognized for her abilities
as a writer and
gardener. She is an American Horticultural Society Writing Award winner; she is
a garden columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; and longtime fans will
remember her previous days at the Seattle Weekly. Also, her articles have
appeared in House & Garden, Western Living and others. She has been a
contributing editor for Horticulture magazine, and she often lectures on the
Of course, read anything anywhere about Seattle gardening
authority Ann Lovejoy and you'll hear that old familiar tale of how Sunset
Magazine editor Steve Lorton "discovered" her on Seattle's Capitol
Hill on a sunny day in June a decade ago.
Lovejoy writes about it herself in her new
where she talks about "what it means to be a business," and how the
smallest word of encouragement can give just the right push to the already
creative and talented artist.
She herself is certainly one of those healing artists,
who has turned around and provided an ongoing inspiration for so many others.
As this newest collection shows us, that doorstep visit so long ago has led to
years of enjoyment for readers and gardeners in the Pacific Northwest and