THE GARDEN BOOK OF 2013

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The presentation of Martha Tate’s book about Margaret Moseley was spectacular! Above, Martha and Margaret signing books.

The book is a work of love (by Martha) and art (by Mia Broder) and the best gardening advice ever published (by Margaret).

P1220224    Above,Mia Broder of Hedwigd Design responsible for the design and illustrations

I could not do better than Martha in describing this book so, with her permission here it is…

“The book is the story of the extraordinary garden that Margaret Moseley started when she was 52 years old.  It is also about a very funny individual who kept us all laughing with her antics.  Instead of just a lot of expository writing, the book contains excerpts from Margaret’s own journals, her unforgettable quotes and reminiscences from friends who visited her often.  It also contains a lot of photographs taken over the years and valuable plant information and hints for success.

I think I might have written already that Margaret’s influence was felt far and wide in the gardening world.  When she was discovered at age 78, she had been gardening for 26 years.  By the time I got out of my car at her house on a spring day in 1994, she had already filled her 3/4-acre back yard with collections of viburnums, hydrangeas, camellias and just about every other shrub you could think of.  She also grew an amazing variety of perennials.

While she had been unknown to garden journalists, she was a familiar sight in area nurseries, seeking out the newest introductions she’d read about in magazines, books, catalogs and the newspaper.  She was also already swapping cuttings and divisions with other gardeners and buying old-fashioned plants from advertisers in the Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin, published by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

When the news about her garden came out, the tour buses started arriving, along with television crews, and writers and photographers from national magazines.  Garden clubs and Master Gardener groups arrived by the busload.  Visitors to the garden enjoyed Margaret’s special almond iced tea (the recipe is in the book), and seldom did anyone leave without a plastic grocery bag containing a plant.  She generously opened her garden for tours sponsored by plant societies.

The irony of all this is contained in a note she wrote to me on November 2, 1995, when she was 79:  “Dear Martha, Because of you I’m enjoying my garden so much in my twilight years.  Thank you.  Love, Margaret”

Little did Margaret know when she wrote this note what was about to happen.  For the next decade and a half, she would come into the prime of her gardening life, making personal appearances at garden centers and events with her friend and founder of the American Hydrangea Society, Penny McHenry.  Margaret would come to inspire countless individuals to begin gardening, and a mention of a plant in her garden would cause nurseries to sell out immediately.  She corresponded with people from all over the world who saw her featured on HGTV’s A Gardener’s Diary.  Every time you’d go there, you would come away thinking that it’s never too late to enjoy gardening or to start a garden from scratch, even if you were in your 80′s.

Margaret is convinced that going out every day and working in her garden has contributed to her long life.  She derived such joy in every bloom that opened and couldn’t wait to get out of the bed in the morning and start digging.

But, Margaret says, it’s the friendships she’s made along the way that have given her the greatest pleasure:  “Growing old, I’ve been so blessed by the younger garden friends I’ve made through the years.  I’m never lonely.  I can’t say enough about what gardening has done for me.  I wish everybody could have a garden.”

Note:  The paperback version of the book is available at Amazon.com.  It can also be purchased in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.”

The paperback edition is also available at createspace.com

MARGARET MOSELEY- GARDENER EXTRAORDINAIRE

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Tomorrow night my dear friend and mentor Margaret Moseley will be at The American Hydrangea Society Meeting  signing the book about her garden written by Martha Tate.

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The richness of Margaret’s garden is captured in her portrait above.

If you have been reading my blog you already know her great influence on me as I learned about Southern Gardening.

Mine is not the only garden she has influenced. Lyndy Broder told me that when she first saw Margaret’s garden , she suddenly knew what she would do when she retired.

This meeting is open to the public. More information HERE

THE FIRST CAMELLIA

The first camellia to bloom in my garden is Camellia sinensis, the Tea Plant.

                                                                                  

No big drumroll for it is not the showiest, but then neither are crocuses, yet we delight to see them.

 This plant is my introduction to the Camellia Season, and yes, this is the plant from which tea is made.

                                                                                             

Fast on its heels is Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’. 

                                                                                        

 Camellias and hydrangeas have the same cultural requirements; below, another  good reason to plant them in close proximity.

                                                                                              

This was taken in the ‘Circle of Friends’ so you can see this area is really non-stop beautiful throughout the year.

                                                                                   

A bit blurry, but you get the idea.

 BTW my Camellia sinensis has provenance. It was gifted to me from Penny McHenry but it was a seedling from the garden of Martha Tate.

A GARDENER’S DIARY

                                                                             

If you, like me,watched every episode of A GARDENER’S DIARY on HGTV  (taped and TiVo them for future viewing) and  lament the fact that  it is no longer; you will be pleased to know that the blog GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY is written by Martha Tate, the creator /producer of the series.

                                                                                     

Martha features an incredible photo of a  plant or garden with a delightful narrative.

The above photos are from her blog, so tune in, you will not be disappointed.