Rant on the Road


Dear Frustrated Gardeners,

There’s precious little to be done in the garden here in California, and even less in the frozen tundra that is Chicago  (How do you people live in a place where the high is twenty degrees?  Note to self: Publish next book in the summer!)

I have missed posting on GardenRant but I appreciate the break as I get ready for the Flower Confidential book tour.  If you’re in any of these cities, I hope you’ll come out and say hello.  Really, it would mean the world to me.  Get the details here.

  • Wednesday, January 31, 7 pm:  Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL (Chicago area)
  • Thursday, February 1, 7 pm:  Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, Brookfield, WI (Milwaukee area)
  • Friday, February 2, 7 pm:  Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City, IA
  • Sunday, February 4, 3 pm:  Northtown Books, Arcata, CA

See you there!



  1. What do I do when the high temp is less than 20F? I like to make ice. A garden tub — the kind used to mix concrete or soil — filled with 8 gallons of water makes a nice thick slab of ice. Suitable for building ice sculptures. Other tubs and buckets work, too, giving me an assortment of shapes with which to build. Add some tea lights, wait for dark, and enjoy.

  2. We’ll try to give you better weather when you come to Austin, Amy, but it’s been cooler than usual so far.
    Going into nostalgia mode now to recall January 18th, 1994 in Chicago, a day when the low temperature was -21ºF, and the HIGH for the day was -11ºF. So you’re not doing that bad.

    I hope the Naperville event will be fun for both you and the people you meet~

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. How do we live with a high of 20 degrees? With hats, gloves, scarves, boots, heavy socks, heavy coat and long underwear, and then we stay inside as much as possible and read books about gardening. I’ve added yours to my list to read!

    I’ll watch to see if Indianapolis shows up on your book tour!

  4. You know, I just might do that…I usually come home to Albany Thursday night after three days of working in Boston, but I have been wanting to see that flower show for years…

  5. I’ll see you in Raleigh! It won’t be easy to overlook me, I’ll be the one with the cattle prod and bullhorn – I’m in charge of the tours.

    Let me know if there is anything not on the agenda that you’d really like to see or do while here.

  6. Maybe I’ll have to take a little trip to Raleigh. There are lots of gardens there worth touring. One of you could smuggle me in to Plant Delights if it isn’t a regular open house weekend.

  7. Christopher – PDN in on the tour list. That weekend is just before or just after an open house weekend I believe.

  8. MMD,

    Re: Rich’s – Are there folks carpooling?

    I haven’t been to his place in years but would like to but I am near the city (which for the Lurie Garden tour is a good thing for that part) and it’s a good 50 – 60 miles out to his place.

  9. I can’t make the other events, dang it, but I’m definitely going to Raleigh in September. But cattle prod and bullhorn?!?! Yikes, John, I promise to toe the line. I was a bus host for the ’08 GWA meeting here in Portland so you know that having been there, I’ll do my utmost to make your life easier.

    Oh, and I’m delighted to hear Plant Delights is a tour stop!

  10. Oh good. Martha Stewart claimed in her magazine (I don’t have the source) that “real” gardeners don’t say dirt, they say soil. I say dirt all the time, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. 😀 Have a great talk!

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