BN.com Gift Guide

The Passionate Gardener: Adventures of an Ardent Green Thumb [NOOK Book]

Overview


In this rollicking read, Des Kennedy demonstrates his unerring skill with a satirical pitchfork. The 13 short pieces here roam widely and wildly, examining, among other things, common idiosyncrasies and the collective chaos of garden clubs. The book hilariously ponders the host of psychopathologies that afflict “plants people,” from weather phobias and general anxiety disorders to obsessive-compulsive behavior such as the chronic moving of plants. Whether discussing dysfunctional garden sprayers or malodorous ...
See more details below
The Passionate Gardener: Adventures of an Ardent Green Thumb

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$14.00 List Price

Overview


In this rollicking read, Des Kennedy demonstrates his unerring skill with a satirical pitchfork. The 13 short pieces here roam widely and wildly, examining, among other things, common idiosyncrasies and the collective chaos of garden clubs. The book hilariously ponders the host of psychopathologies that afflict “plants people,” from weather phobias and general anxiety disorders to obsessive-compulsive behavior such as the chronic moving of plants. Whether discussing dysfunctional garden sprayers or malodorous urine collection schemes, Kennedy finds both the magic and the madness in one of life's most popular passions.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781926685489
  • Publisher: Greystone Books
  • Publication date: 1/6/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 200
  • File size: 241 KB

Meet the Author


Des Kennedy has lived for the past thirty-five years with his partner, Sandy, in their hand-hewn home on Denman Island, one of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. The author of countless magazine pieces and five previous books–two novels and three collections of essays–Kennedy has also made numerous TV and radio appearances and written for and narrated documentary films. A popular speaker on the gardening circuit, Kennedy has been active in the environmental scene for many years and was a founding director of a community land trust on his home island.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Six: The Seven Deadly Sins
Raised as I was in a staunchly religious Irish Catholic family, and having had the Church’s eternal options of redemption and damnation polished to a gleaming luminosity by spending eight years as a seminarian with the hellfire-preaching Passionist Fathers, I retain, these many decades later, some lingering affinity with moral rectitude. As a youth, each day would conclude with an examination of conscience whereby any transgression, impiety or evil deed I’d committed in the course of the day would be identified and forgiveness would be sought from above before surrendering to a sleep from which I might never awaken. Saturday invariably entailed a trip to the confessional where I knelt in the dark enclosure and whispered my sins to the listening priest, was perhaps cross-examined on any salacious bits and was eventually absolved and released with a firm, if slightly unrealistic, purpose to go and sin no more.
That once firm bedrock of confession and absolution has become much eroded with the passage of time, but not sufficiently to dissuade me from proposing a contemplation of the Seven Deadly Sins of Gardening and the possibilities of redemption to be found in their corresponding Seven Contrary Virtues.
We begin straight away with the first, and arguably worst, of the seven deadly sins,
the sin from which the other six in this vile litter spring. Namely, the sin of Pride. Yes, pride, vanity, the high or overweaning opinion of one’s own qualities, attainments or estate. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

But right from the outset we run into a considerable difficulty in trying to distinguish what is truly loathsome pride from what is simple acceptance of reality. Because, actually, one’s own garden is undeniably superior to almost every other that one encounters. The awkward but inescapable truth remains that one is in fact a far more accomplished gardener than most other people, though, needless to say, a bit of discretion is called for in not trumpeting this obvious fact too loudly. No, here we’re not talking about the self-satisfaction of genuinely superior gardeners, such as myself and almost certainly you, dear reader, but rather an arrogant minority that flaunts itself in a most disagreeable way.
“Yes, we’re really rather pleased,” the prideful gardener announces while showing you around her estate. “Now, just look over there—you’ll notice how the Scabiosa caucasica ‘Clive Greaves’, the Lavendula spica, the Clematis ascotiensis and the Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ are all muted violet or purple blues, their colour enhanced by grey Santolina beneath them and the grey hardscape beyond.” You might not have noticed any of this if she hadn’t pointed it out, but you never have to worry about prideful gardeners being stuck for something to say. They’ve always got something to say, and it’s always about themselves or their wonderful gardens. “Isn’t that just the most charming little Erigeron mucrantus you’ve ever laid eyes on?” they’ll exclaim, “And do come see my Helianthemum ‘Wisely Pink’–it’s by far the grandest specimen you’re likely to ever encounter.” These braggarts have always got the choicest varieties of everything, in the cleverest combinations and shown to best effect.

But the real problem here is, annoyingly, it’s often true: As much as you hate to admit it, their gardens are splendid, perfect, impeccable. Their Agapanthus are pantingly blue and beautiful, picking up the metallic blue pods hanging between elegant green leaves of a Decaisnea fargesii. Their foliage frameworks are magnificent, their colour plans extraordinary. And it’s for that very reason that you never, ever want to invite them over to see your garden. They glance around your yard with an expression of utter dismay. “Ah, yes, well,” they say, “you’ve made a very brave start, haven’t you? You must have the heart of a lion to tackle a place like this.” They obviously weren’t paying attention when you told them you’d been gardening here for twenty years. “But look, once you get rid of all this garish clutter,” they dismiss your prized perennial bed with a wave, “You’ll have room to bring in some really interesting plants, won’t you?” Left unchecked, their vanity spills over into outright arrogance. “Oh, good Lord!” they’ll exclaim, “surely you’re not allowing that dreadful Fatsia japonica to stay there? No, as much as it hurts me to say it, it’s all wrong–this unfortunate Euphorbia with the Griselinia and Hypericum–no, I’m sorry, I just can’t bear to look at it!”
Beneath these outbursts the message is always the same: My garden is better than your garden, and the reason for that is I know more about gardening than you do. And I can demonstrate as much by dazzling you with my knowledge of botanical Latin. You may think that’s a fennel plant you’ve got over there, but I would never call it by any other name than Foeniculum vulgare. And, rratherrrrrr than saying something like ‘TToad Lily,’ which sounds so disagreeably inelegant, I far prefer to say Trycirtis formosan. And really, I ask you, how could anyone employ a vulgarism like Russian sage when one really means Perovskia atriplicifolia? The whole time you’re biting your tongue to keep from saying that you yourself prefer to call Saxifraga erbium by its common name: London Pride. Or, even more cattily, to quote scripture at them: ‘Pride goeth before a fall.”
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Preface

One: Darwin was No Gardener
Two: Garden Clubbing
Three: With the Goddess of Fire
Four: Passionate Plantings
Five: Garden Artistry
Six: The Seven Deadly Sins
Seven: In the Land of Saints and Scholars
Eight: Chaos Theory
Nine: ‘Tis Always the Season
Ten: The Ten Commandments
Eleven: In the Land of the Long White Cloud
Twelve: Construction Workers
Thirteen: Down the Garden Pathology
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)