Thursday, January 8, 2009

The garden in winter isn't much to write home about. Or so I thought. It was while browsing through Suzy Bales' latest book, The Garden in Winter, that I hastily changed my mind. I became so enamoured of the book's gorgeousness and informative text that I bought two copies: one as a Christmas gift for my father (who is an avid landscaper) and one for myself.

The book is primarily for northern gardners in locations that receive snow during the winter months. It examines the benefits of planting (and planning) a garden while keeping "the Quiet Season" in mind: planting with an understanding of which plants will produce maximum winter rewards, in terms of colour, texture and architecture. Bales, who says she is too much a gardner to allow herself to stay indoors for long, was determined to plan her six-acre, Long Island garden in such a way.
The book is lushly illustrated with photographs of Bales' garden and the gardens of friends and colleagues. The text is deeply informative, full of hard-won wisdom and well-researched science: this is not just a "pretty book." Although,it is pretty! There is even a section on making wreaths and winter arrangements from branches and clippings from the winter garden, as well as ideas for how to give the outdoor spaces some classic holiday flare at Christmastime with lights and ribbons.

Any fan of Martha's books will also find this book to be useful, beautiful and inspiring.

Bright pink, ‘Aloha’ roses on the arbor in the vegetable garden blush red in the frost.

Suzy Bales had her own weekly gardening column in Newsday for two years before joining Family Circle as their contributing garden editor for twelve years. She wrote for The New York Times for a year before joining Better Homes & Gardens as the Sr. Editor for Gardening and Outdoor Living from 2004 until early 2007. She has been featured in Ladies Home Journal, House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, Horticulture, Beautiful Gardens, and Easy Gardening.

Suzy is the author of 13 books. The first eight books were in the Burpee American Gardening Series: Bulbs, Perennials, Annuals, Vegetables, Container Gardening, Roses and Vines, and Ready, Set, Grow, a book on children's gardening. She has also written Gifts from Your Garden, A Garden of Fragrance, Garden Parties and the Down-to-Earth Gardener. The Garden in Winter is her latest.

Suzy won the Garden Writer of the Year Award from the American Horticultural Society in1995, and has twice been awarded the Quill and Trowel Award by The Garden Writers of America. In 2007 she received the Elizabeth Hamilton Great American Philanthropist award for her twenty-five years of volunteer work with abused and homeless children.

She is a regular contributor to Good Morning America, tours on the lecture circuit and has served on the board of The American Horticultural Society and the Garden Conservancy and was a distinguished advisor to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Old Westbury Gardens.

Please visit Suzy's blog for more information:

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