Gardening: A Growing Addiction
by Jo Ann Wiblin

"Before making a planting decision, think ahead 20 years."

Experienced gardener and writer Wiblin offers advice born out of her years of practice made up of wondrous successes, some very taxing physical labor, and a number of try-it-again moments. She began her planting hobby—bordering on obsession, she admits—after her children were grown, harking back in memory to her own childhood following her grandparents around their garden, shelling peas, and planting tiger lilies. With her husband, her "chief enabler" in their obviously shared dedication, she constructed a greenhouse and began planning and planting in earnest.

The author's lively and often wryly amusing manual encompasses a wide variety of subjects, from pruning (an art, she says, as well as a science) to composting ("as easy as taking out the trash") to harvesting, tidying, propagating, choosing catalogs, predicting the weather (a guessing game) to the importance of understanding that "sometimes plants must be pulled." It's work that begins well before the growing season and continues long after, carrying both lessons and rewards.

Wiblin has created this engaging aggregation based on more than three years of weekly columns in Ohio's Newark Advocate. She is as cheerful in recounting her occasional failures as in citing her best efforts. Recently she began to keep a ten-year journal, wishing she had done so earlier. Her wise advice is supported with factual data throughout, and her book is aided with a thorough index. She constantly reminds readers that nothing is ever entirely certain in the realm of nature, and hard decisions sometimes will have to be made. Yet the good outcomes are deeply satisfying, as she knows and depicts so well. Avid, practical, and humorous, Wiblin's guide to the gardening adventure will aid anyone new to the work and those seasoned in it but keen to learn more.

A 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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