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September 24 , 2010

The Carefree Garden

Letting Nature Play Her Part


What happens when a lifelong gardener finally realizes that he must collaborate with Mother Nature rather than work against her in order to achieve his dream of creating the perfect garden? In this delightful and thoughtful narrative journey of horticultural discovery, Bill Terry asks how and even why we garden, and to what end?

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These are personal stories, thoughts, and ideas about the "perfect" garden interspersed with humorous, imagined conversations with Mother Nature herself. As he works in his West Coast garden, choosing wild roses over the fancy hybrid teas, and discarding manmade hybrids and cultivars in favour of the charm and simplicity of peonies, hellebores, and tulips as they grow in the wild, Terry learns to welcome and encourage happy accidents, greatly reducing the work and effort required to maintain order (as most gardeners seek to do), and instead embracing a substantial measure of disorder.

The perfect garden, he discovers, respects both Mother Nature’s demands—integrating endemic plants, choosing natural species and varieties—and the gardener’s personality—expressing her own taste and creativity, and rich in private memories. This is a light-hearted and witty collection of reflections that will appeal to gardeners everywhere.

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