Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul: 101 Stories to Sow Seeds of Love, Hope and Laughter

Overview

Do you talk to your houseplants? Daydream about your tomato seedlings? Do you consider a beautiful bouquet the perfect remedy for life's little hiccups? Whether you're a master gardener, a struggling beginner, or someone who appreciates all things green, Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul will brighten your day and lift your spirit like the first crocus of spring.

Written by celebrity gardeners and hobbyists alike, this entertaining and inspiring collection of stories relays ...

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Overview

Do you talk to your houseplants? Daydream about your tomato seedlings? Do you consider a beautiful bouquet the perfect remedy for life's little hiccups? Whether you're a master gardener, a struggling beginner, or someone who appreciates all things green, Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul will brighten your day and lift your spirit like the first crocus of spring.

Written by celebrity gardeners and hobbyists alike, this entertaining and inspiring collection of stories relays the rich rewards that gardening brings to life: how an offering from the garden can touch a loved one's heart; how the first bud of the season can provide hope for someone facing a dark time; and how a day spent in the garden with friends grows laughter, joy and lasting memories.

Share the bounty of Gardener's Soul with yourself or a friend; it's sure to be a "perennial" favorite.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul? Wait: We already have Chicken Soup for adults, kids, teens, preteens, expectant mothers, Christian families, and cat owners. Not even the Maccabees make soup last this long, right?

Not so. Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul is as fresh as the first Chicken Soup books, and twice as fun. It includes cartoons, anecdotes, stories, and poems -- all focused on the pleasures of dirt and petal. Some stories are fabulous; some are touching. Some feature prose of surprising prettiness, like Anirban Gupta's description his citified patch: "a dainty little thing," he writes, "about the size of ten saris stretched out to dry on a hot summer day."

The stories differ, but every piece in this happy collection reflects on the importance of playing with the earth and the significance of creating beauty. As Dan Barker remarks in his essay: "People are always asking, 'What is the purpose of life?' That's easy. Relieve suffering. Create beauty. Make gardens." Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul will keep you company while you do. (Jesse Gale)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558748866
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/15/2001
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional development of others.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional development of others.

Marion Owen, is known as "The Compost Queen." Her columns appear in newspapers, magazines and web sites nationwide and her work as an award-winning photographer has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Audubon and Time.

Cynthia Brian, is the author of Be The Star You Are (Ten Speed Press) and hosts two television series, Starstyle Live Your Dreams and Starstyle The Business of Show Business. Cynthia can be heard weekly on Starstyle on Business Radio 1220.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Plum Pretty Sister


There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.

Elizabeth Lawrence




Justin was a climber. By one and a half, he had discovered the purple plum tree in the backyard, and its friendly branches became his favorite hangout.


At first he would climb just a few feet and make himself comfortable in the curve where the trunk met the branches. Soon he was building himself a small fort and dragging his toy tractors and trucks up to their new garage.


One day when he was two, Justin was playing in the tree as usual. I turned my back to prune the rosebush, and he disappeared.


"Justin, where are you?" I hollered.


His tiny voice called back, "Up here, Mommy, picking all the plums for you!"



When Justin was three, I became pregnant. My husband and I explained to him that we were going to have another baby as a playmate for him.


He was very excited, kissed my tummy and said, "Hello, baby, I'm your big brother, Justin."


From the beginning he was sure he was going to have a little sister, and every day he'd beg to know if she was ready to play yet. When I explained that the baby wasn't arriving until the end of June, he seemed confused.


One day he asked, "When is June, Mommy?"


I realized I needed a better explanation; how could a three-year-old know what "June" meant? Just then, as Justin climbed into the low branches of the plum tree, he gave me the answer I was looking for . . . his special tree.


"Justin, thebaby is going to be born when the plums are ripe. You can keep me posted when that will be, okay?" I wasn't completely sure if I was on target, but the gardener in me was confident I'd be close enough.


Oh, he was excited! Now Justin had a way to know when his new baby sister would come to play. From that moment on, he checked the old plum tree several times a day and reported his findings to me. Of course, he was quite concerned in November when all the leaves fell off the tree. By January, with the cold and the rains, he was truly worried whether his baby would be cold and wet like his tree. He whispered to my tummy that the tree was strong and that she (the baby) had to be strong too, and make it through the winter.


By February a few purple leaves began to shoot forth, and his excitement couldn't be contained.


"My tree is growing, Mommy! Pretty soon she'll have baby plums, and then I'll have my baby sister."


March brought the plum's beautiful tiny white flowers, and Justin was overjoyed.


"She's b'ooming, Mommy!" he chattered, struggling with the word "blooming." He rushed to kiss my tummy and got kicked in the mouth.


"The baby's moving, Mommy, she's b'ooming, too. I think she wants to come out and see the flowers."


So it went for the next couple of months, as Justin checked every detail of his precious plum tree and reported to me about the flowers turning to tiny beads that would become plums.


The rebirth of his tree gave me ample opportunity to explain the development of the fetus that was growing inside me. Sometimes I think he believed I had actually planted a "baby seed" inside my tummy, because when I drank water he'd say things like, "You're watering our little flower, Mommy!" I'd laugh and once again explain in simple terms the story of the birds and the bees, the plants and the trees.


June finally arrived, and so did the purple plums. At first they were fairly small, but Justin climbed his tree anyway to pick some plums off the branches where the sun shone warmest. He brought them to me to let me know the baby wasn't ripe yet.


I felt ripe! I was ready to pop! When were the plums going to start falling from that darn tree?


Justin would rub my tummy and talk to his baby sister, telling her she had to wait a little longer because the fruit was not ready to be picked yet. His forays into the plum tree lasted longer each day, as if he was coaxing the tree to ripen quickly. He talked to the tree and thanked it for letting him know about this important event in his life. Then one day, it happened. Justin came running into the house, his eyes as big as saucers, with a plastic bucket full to the brim of juicy purple plums.


"Hurry, Mommy, hurry!" he shouted. "She's coming, she's coming! The plums are ripe, the plums are ripe!",


I laughed uncontrollably as Justin stared at my stomach, as if he expected to see his baby sister erupt any moment. That morning I did feel a bit queasy, and it wasn't because I had a dental appointment.


Before we left the house, Justin went out to hug his plum tree and whisper that today was the day his "plum pretty sister" would arrive. He was certain.


As I sat in the dental chair, the labor pains began, just as Justin had predicted. Our "plum" baby was coming! I called my parents, and my husband rushed me to the hospital. At 6:03 p.m. on June 22, the day that will forever live in family fame as "Plum Pretty Sister Day," our daughter was born. We didn't name her Purple Plum as Justin suggested, but chose another favorite flower, Heather.


At Heather's homecoming, Justin kissed his new playmate and presented her with his plastic bucket, full to the brim with sweet, ripe, purple plums.


"These are for you," he said proudly.


Justin and Heather are now teenagers, and the plum tree has become our bonding symbol. Although we moved from the home that housed Justin's favorite plum tree, the first tree to be planted in our new yard was a purple plum, so that Justin and Heather could know when to expect her special day. Throughout their growing-up years, the children spent countless hours nestled in the branches, counting down the days through the birth of leaves, flowers, buds and fruit. Our birthday parties are always festooned with plum branches and baskets brimming with freshly picked purple plums. Because as Mother Nature—and Justin—would have it, for the last fifteen years, the purple plum has ripened exactly on June 22.


Cynthia Brian

(c)2000. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marion Owen, Cindy Buck, Carol Sturgulewski, Pat Stone, Cynthia Brian. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.



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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Introduction xxi
Share with Us xxiii
1. The Joy Of Gardening
Love and Daffodils Forever 2
The Garden Guard 6
To Own Something Beautiful 9
The Wedding Gift 12
Blossie 14
Planting Day 19
Street Smarts 23
A Veteran's Garden 25
Gardening in Our Blood 28
Butter Beans and Bulldogs 30
Ladies of the Garden Club 35
I'll Plant Anything 39
The Rose Babies 42
Of Moose and Men 45
A Garden Is to Grow 49
The $100,000 Stray Cat 54
2. Blossoming Friendships
As Thyself 59
Ruby's Roses 64
Garden Meditations 68
An American Beauty 70
The World's Largest Rose Tree 74
The Man Who Lived in a Box 77
The Tulip Tradition 81
The Golden Girls 84
Madeleine's Wheelbarrow 88
3. Love In Bloom
Twins Entwined 92
Accidental Blessings 97
First Penny 100
Keeping the Harvest 103
Say It with ... a Rhododendron 106
Girls Like Roses 109
Romeo Sets the Stage 113
Unspoken Love 115
Tall Corn 117
The Best of Wives 120
4. Making A Difference
Pop's Farm 124
Just Keep Planting 127
Food from the 'Hood 132
Angel of Mercy 136
Calcutta Neighbors 139
To Diana with Love, from Canada 144
The Loveliest of Gifts 149
The Kids on the Point 153
A Healing Place 157
A Room Full of Roses 160
A Row for the Hungry 164
The Timely Letter 167
A Million Trees 170
An Angel in Shirtsleeves 175
5. Little Sprouts
Iva Mae's Birthday 181
The Plum Pretty Sister 185
Luther Burbank and the Disappearing Raspberries 189
Brian 192
Gone Fishin' 193
A Garden So Rich 195
The Sock Garden 199
My Mother's Cure 202
6. The Seasons Of Life
Mike and the Grass 208
God's Mountain Garden 210
Rusty Nails 214
Flowers for a Newborn Child 217
The Day the Lilies Bloomed 220
The Bubbup Bush 223
A Hug from Heaven 228
Robbie's Mission 231
A Garden for Four 234
Roses for Rose 237
Buddies 241
A Lesson in Love 243
Garden Crime 246
Yellow Irises 248
7. Overcoming Obstacles
Black Tulips 254
Downwind from Flowers 259
Of War and Roses 263
The Next Best Thing 265
Tough Love 266
A Tree House for Everyone 271
Mandela's Garden 274
You Forgot Something 277
Lean Times 281
Hummingbirds in Hell's Kitchen 284
Sunflowers in Beijing 287
8. The Family Tree
The Burning of the Leaves 292
The Perfect Garden 296
A Bedside Story 300
Lilacs for Mother's Day 303
Nona's Garden 306
My Money Tree 310
A Son's Harvest 312
Honest Mike 315
A Couple of Cacti 318
Prayer of a Gardening Mother 322
Let's Go Thump a Melon 324
9. Potpourri
The Christmas Tree 330
Buried Treasure 332
The Farmer and the Preacher 335
A Hard Act to Follow 337
The Wreath 340
A Few Strings Attached 343
A Gift of Grace 345
One at a Time 349
More Chicken Soup? 353
More Garden Stories? 354
Helping Gardeners Help Others 355
Who Is Jack Canfield? 358
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 359
Who Is Cynthia Brian? 360
Who Is Cindy Buck? 361
Who Is Marion Owen? 362
Who Is Pat Stone? 363
Who Is Carol Sturgulewski? 364
Contributors 365
Permissions (continued) 377
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

The Plum Pretty Sister

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.
Elizabeth Lawrence


Justin was a climber. By one and a half, he had discovered the purple plum tree in the backyard, and its friendly branches became his favorite hangout.

At first he would climb just a few feet and make himself comfortable in the curve where the trunk met the branches. Soon he was building himself a small fort and dragging his toy tractors and trucks up to their new garage.

One day when he was two, Justin was playing in the tree as usual. I turned my back to prune the rosebush, and he disappeared.

"Justin, where are you?" I hollered.

His tiny voice called back, "Up here, Mommy, picking all the plums for you!"

When Justin was three, I became pregnant. My husband and I explained to him that we were going to have another baby as a playmate for him.

He was very excited, kissed my tummy and said, "Hello, baby, I'm your big brother, Justin."

From the beginning he was sure he was going to have a little sister, and every day he'd beg to know if she was ready to play yet. When I explained that the baby wasn't arriving until the end of June, he seemed confused.

One day he asked, "When is June, Mommy?"

I realized I needed a better explanation; how could a three-year-old know what "June" meant? Just then, as Justin climbed into the low branches of the plum tree, he gave me the answer I was looking for . . . his special tree.

"Justin, the baby is going to be born when the plums are ripe. You can keep me posted when that will be, okay?" I wasn't completely sure if I was on target, but the gardener in me was confident I'd be close enough.

Oh, he was excited! Now Justin had a way to know when his new baby sister would come to play. From that moment on, he checked the old plum tree several times a day and reported his findings to me. Of course, he was quite concerned in November when all the leaves fell off the tree. By January, with the cold and the rains, he was truly worried whether his baby would be cold and wet like his tree. He whispered to my tummy that the tree was strong and that she (the baby) had to be strong too, and make it through the winter.

By February a few purple leaves began to shoot forth, and his excitement couldn't be contained.

"My tree is growing, Mommy! Pretty soon she'll have baby plums, and then I'll have my baby sister."

March brought the plum's beautiful tiny white flowers, and Justin was overjoyed.

"She's b'ooming, Mommy!" he chattered, struggling with the word "blooming." He rushed to kiss my tummy and got kicked in the mouth.

"The baby's moving, Mommy, she's b'ooming, too. I think she wants to come out and see the flowers."

So it went for the next couple of months, as Justin checked every detail of his precious plum tree and reported to me about the flowers turning to tiny beads that would become plums.

The rebirth of his tree gave me ample opportunity to explain the development of the fetus that was growing inside me. Sometimes I think he believed I had actually planted a "baby seed" inside my tummy, because when I drank water he'd say things like, "You're watering our little flower, Mommy!" I'd laugh and once again explain in simple terms the story of the birds and the bees, the plants and the trees.

June finally arrived, and so did the purple plums. At first they were fairly small, but Justin climbed his tree anyway to pick some plums off the branches where the sun shone warmest. He brought them to me to let me know the baby wasn't ripe yet.

I felt ripe! I was ready to pop! When were the plums going to start falling from that darn tree?

Justin would rub my tummy and talk to his baby sister, telling her she had to wait a little longer because the fruit was not ready to be picked yet. His forays into the plum tree lasted longer each day, as if he was coaxing the tree to ripen quickly. He talked to the tree and thanked it for letting him know about this important event in his life. Then one day, it happened. Justin came running into the house, his eyes as big as saucers, with a plastic bucket full to the brim of juicy purple plums.

"Hurry, Mommy, hurry!" he shouted. "She's coming, she's coming! The plums are ripe, the plums are ripe!",

I laughed uncontrollably as Justin stared at my stomach, as if he expected to see his baby sister erupt any moment. That morning I did feel a bit queasy, and it wasn't because I had a dental appointment.

Before we left the house, Justin went out to hug his plum tree and whisper that today was the day his "plum pretty sister" would arrive. He was certain.

As I sat in the dental chair, the labor pains began, just as Justin had predicted. Our "plum" baby was coming! I called my parents, and my husband rushed me to the hospital. At 6:03 p.m. on June 22, the day that will forever live in family fame as "Plum Pretty Sister Day," our daughter was born. We didn't name her Purple Plum as Justin suggested, but chose another favorite flower, Heather.

At Heather's homecoming, Justin kissed his new playmate and presented her with his plastic bucket, full to the brim with sweet, ripe, purple plums.

"These are for you," he said proudly.

Justin and Heather are now teenagers, and the plum tree has become our bonding symbol. Although we moved from the home that housed Justin's favorite plum tree, the first tree to be planted in our new yard was a purple plum, so that Justin and Heather could know when to expect her special day. Throughout their growing-up years, the children spent countless hours nestled in the branches, counting down the days through the birth of leaves, flowers, buds and fruit. Our birthday parties are always festooned with plum branches and baskets brimming with freshly picked purple plums. Because as Mother Nature--and Justin--would have it, for the last fifteen years, the purple plum has ripened exactly on June 22.

Cynthia Brian

(c)2000. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marion Owen, Cindy Buck, Carol Sturgulewski, Pat Stone, Cynthia Brian. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.


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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2008

    MEMORIES AND TOMORROWS

    This book is a heart warming book for anyone who grew up helping a parent in the garden from a child into adulthood.My father was a landscaper, so I was in the garden all the time with him. He taught me how garden and when and why to do things, but most of all, learn to appreciate the garden and its beauty.I smiled and cried from the beginning of this book right to the last page. It went directly to MY HEART !Now, as an adult, as I garden, I feel my father is always guiding me---- step by step !

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    A GREEN THUMB NOT REQUIRED!

    101 Delightful, heartfelt stories that will grow in all the hearts that read it. A great read for everyone, whether you have a green thumb or not. An excellent gift for all gardener's too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2001

    Inspiring stories for the gardener and non gardener too!

    This is an amazing book...each story is truly from the heart and shows us how cultivating a garden is more than just digging in the dirt. Beware tho, it has a Kleenex star rating of five as well...you can only read about five stories at a time before you are wiping the tears out of your eyes! A great book, a perfect gift for anyone who has spent time in a garden, or just stopped to smell someone else's roses. This is the book to read on those dark dreary days before spring...it will make you anxious for those first tulip blooms, and make you want to call your good friend over for a cup of tea and revel in your friendship! Happy reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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