Wednesday, November 18, 2009
What Have I been Up to?
It is hard to imagine a faster month gone by. In the month since I put away my steel-toed boots and stacked my tools in storage- why have I been too busy to write?
I am in thinking mode and in writing mode but not in writing Blog mode. I have been reading all the various garden books I have bought over the years including one from 1908 . I am worse than the proverbial "kid in the candy shop" - It really is a gorging event. This is my "education season" and I have been waiting years to do it. Instead of staying in Calgary to read and write amid distractions of "real" work and visiting with friends I have come to the coast with all my books and I am doing exactly as I dreamed. I am reading and writing and thinking. I am keen to start a new book but not a book that simply repeats all the old wive's tails and adjective filled descriptions of plants or step-by-step instructions to do this or that. I was looking for a single "good idea".
I recently came upon a set of magazines called "The Garden" published monthly by Theo A. Stephens starting in January 1934. With a subtitle "An intimate magazine for garden lovers", Stephens opened with a personal foreward. "For many years it has been my ambition to produce a gardening paper" starts Stephens. "The type of magazine I have always visualized was a de luxe production, taking advantage of modern methods of reproduction by colour printing, photogravure and fine screen half tone.... a small intimate book, simple and friendly".
Coincidentally I have also been dreaming of writing "a friendly small intimate" book (not a monthly magazine). I have considered producing a series of small books covering tasks people tell me they want more information on. It will be a distillation of my thirty years of gardening experience with a dash of my collected book knowledge. And it won't come together quickly. It is a luscious and fun task and I am in no hurry to complete it! The working title for the series is almost a done deal and the first book in the series is in the works with many titles and ideas on the board. Meanwhile I am also enjoying modern non-gardening reading and have almost finished "Cradle to Cradle". In a few weeks I leave for an extended visit to New Zealand where I hope to keep "working" in a comparative way on my various garden ideas.
Meanwhile I will fill this blog with bits and pieces from "The Garden" and other books I am reading so that there is something to fill the blank pages of my blog as I pursue my dream.