WaPo’s Garden Book Round-Up


From Joel Lerner’s latest garden book recommendations in the Washington Post:

  • Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime by Kenneth Helphand includes this wonderful quote from Churchill:  "War is the normal occupation of man – war and gardening."  See, those Brits GET gardening.  A "thought-provoking analysis of why people build and work in gardens during times of conflict," the book "melds landscape research, war history and lessons in gardening."  Great book concept!
  • Green Roof Plants by Edmund and Lucie Snodgrass is the definitive work on the subject.  And here’s a GardenRant up-close-and-personal about Ed and his nursery.
  • Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Garden Into a Garden and Your Neighborhood Into a Community by Heather Flores is "about a social movement to turn society into a more sensible lifestyle by balancing our needs with the earth."  Sounds good, and it gets really interesting with this:  "Her concept is radical.  She advocates an aggressive approach to persuade others to practice ecological living, including a sidebar about jail – ‘if your urging turns into civil disobedience.’"  We’ll be checking the news for those "Anti-Lawn Activists Jailed" stories.
  • More Papers From the Potting Shed by Charles Elliott is worth noting because his essays may just be the antidote to the boring how-to garden stories we’re always complaining about.  "What you won’t find, I guarantee, is useful information about designing a city garden or propagating auriculas," says Elliott.  Instead, there’s "In Offense of Birds" and "Getting it Wrong with Sir Francis Bacon."  So readers, let us know what you think of Elliott.

Why-oh-why the Post doesn’t put Joel Lerner’s gardening
column "Green Scene" on its website remains a mystery.  So sorry, no link.


  1. I’ve read Defiant Gardens (follow my name link to the review). After reading about the trench gardens of WWI, the Allied forces gardens in Nazi PoW camps, the gardens in the Warsaw ghetto, and the gardens of civilian internees both under the Japanese and the American governments, I had one question. Why are gardens prohibited at Guantanamo?


    Read Defiant Gardens and then write to your Congressional representative.

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