The trend continues: more daylight, less books. As the clocks changed and the last frost dates neared, I worked to get borders and beds ready for seeds. I took advantage of the dry moments and longer days, but March was still mostly rain, so I had time to get through five books.

Even though I read less, the month included one of the best books I’ve ever read, and one of the worst. The best one was the biography of James Rose, landscape architect and garden creator. I knew nothing of him until I saw the new book displayed at the Miller Library. The cover flap hooked me with “his approach to design as a never-ending process of change and development.” I found him to be such an inspiring person that I’ll write about him in a separate post. The Rose biography is part of the Masters of Modern Landscape Design series from University of Georgia Press. If the others are as clearly written, informative, and well-illustrated, I’ll read and recommend them all.

Now the worst book? The only reason I’ll give any attention to The Creative Shrub Garden is because I had a moment reading it where I recognized just how far I’ve come in the past year or so. While last spring I would’ve been more of a sponge and far less discerning when it comes to garden books, it’s become clear to me how strongly my opinions have formed, and how much factual knowledge has built up. Reading this book I had several moments where I felt the author was just flat wrong in his techniques, or reasoning—and the structure of the book even seemed contradictory to his own writings. I noticed a level of confidence in myself that I didn’t shy away from. I promptly returned it to the library.

Theses are the books I read in March. Recommendations in bold.




April Reading

One final note: Most of the books I read, I leave to chance—something seen on a shelf or recommended by a friend. But I always have a few on deck. Starting here, I’ll include a few titles for the month ahead. Maybe it’ll motivate you too.