Sunday, May 6, 2018

Big Ideas in Small Bottles - Garden Books I LOVE! A post by Thea McGinnis

We all have our passions - and if you're reading our blog, chances are you love gardening, too.  I also love (LOVE LOVE LOVE) to read.  During spring, when we're quite busy getting our gardens up to snuff, there isn't as much time to read, except for the blessing of a rainy day like today, so I do want to recommend some of my favorite books - some new and some old favorites by wonderful authors who love flowers and gardening and nature and, maybe, foxes!

The first book, recently published,  I do highly recommend - if only for the sheer beauty of this publication. It's lovely, artistic, heartwarming and sophisticated.  Second Bloom by Cathy Graham, is a flower story that runs parallel to her life's journey - second blooms and new beginnings.

I had the privilege of attending Cathy's keynote talk at National Capital Area Garden Clubs' State Conference this past April.  I think what I most like about this book is how simply we can duplicate, even on a small scale, her seasonal, over-the-top artsy flower arranging ideas. It definitely hit my heart/home/entertaining/penchant-for-vintage buttons. What can I say other than this book totally charmed me.
All the artwork is Cathy's original art, from the book's cover to the endpages. You cannot help smiling as you read along.

This book is for sale at NCAGC's gift shop, Arbor House, at the National Arboretum, of course. But  if you can't stop by, you can also order it here - just click.  Do let me know if you enjoyed this work of art as much as I have.


My next book to share with you is another delight, and I consider it a form of morning meditation. Windowsill Art by Nancy Ross Hugo is one of those special books you'll want to gift to a good gardening friend - and they will cherish it.  I discovered this book from my garden photographer friend, Brigitte Bégué Hartke. Brigitte invited me to Nancy's speaking engagement at Five Hills Garden Club last year.

It was an honor to attend Five Hill's monthly meeting, and meet Nancy, who is herself a garden club member in Virginia Federated Garden Clubs, a top notch floral designer and instructor, who hails from the Richmond area.  Nancy is the author five books including Earth Works: Readings for Backyard Gardeners, Remarkable Trees of Virginia, Seeing Trees, Trees Up Close, as well.

Windowsill Art is a treasure of a book explores her discovery of plant materials for her deceptively easy windowsill designs during her early morning walks. No sidewalk crevice or frozen winter garden bed is safe from her designing eyes.

A simple design in a small bottle on my kitchen windowsill is something I can look at all day. It transports me away from my mundane home keeping chores (washing dishes!) back to the true benefit of taking a morning walk - finding that daily balance.  Nancy's daughter tagged along with her lovely pop-up shop and I was able to get some lovely small containers just perfect for the windowsills in my home.

You may order Nancy Ross Hugo's book here and do check out her daughter, Kate Vernon's shop, The Arranger's Market, here. Lot's of great floral designer 'stuff' you 'need'. And check out Nancy's design workshops schedule.  If you have this book already, do let me know how much you enjoy this book.

Okay, I will post part two of Garden Books I LOVE! in the next week or two (when it rains is when I find the time to write - not that I'm asking for rain, mind you.  But rain is a gardener/writer's friend! - t

Thea McGinnis is a proud member of NCAGC's Rock Spring Garden Club in Arlington, Virginia. She is an avid gardener and writer, and dabbles in all sorts of artistic and joyful activities - like floral design, watercolor painting, reading, poetry, dogs, children, and chaise lounges and reading - not necessarily in that order. 

Photography copyright 2018 by Thea McGinnis