Gardening

1962 garden book paints pictures in your mind

There is not much to do in the garden this time of year. That means I have some time to catch up on my reading. It still gets dark early so I don’t feel guilty sitting inside reading during the evening. When spring arrives, I’ll be spending all of the daylight hours outside in the garden.

The book I’m currently working on is “The Education of a Gardener” by Russel Page, first published in England in 1962. And when I say “working on,” that’s exactly what I mean. This 5″ x 8″ book has 363 pages of dense writing printed in a small font with just a few black and white photos.

Page’s descriptions of his landscape and garden projects paint detailed  pictures in your mind. I’m not necessarily a poetic kind of guy but this is exactly how it is written. Just about every sentence adds another piece to the puzzle,  which is why it is taking me so long to read it — I’m only about a third of the way through.

He also lists plant species for each project. Many of them I know, but others I have to look up. It is quite a contrast to all of the colorful picture books that are being published these days.

I have my daughter Robin to thank for this reading project. While looking for a birthday present for me, she asked a Chicago landscape architect what book would make a good gift — the architect suggested this title.

My plan is not to rush through the rest of the book, but keep reading at the same pace. That way I’ll be sure not to miss a thing.

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.