Dragonfly Farms Nursery, in Kingston, Washington "where abnormality is the normality", all of us were treated to an wonderful reception hosted by Proven Winners and and some gift bags with books provided by Timber Press.
I picked up a bag that included My Garden, the City, and Me: Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London by Helen Babbs, illustrated by James Nunn (2011, Timber Press, $18.95).
I decided that it was the perfect book to read on the flights home... two plus hours from Seattle to Denver, two plus hours from Denver to Indianapolis.
I will admit, as I started to read the book just after take off from Seattle, that I wondered if the world needed or if I needed to read yet another book by someone who had just discovered gardening. But as I read through it, it occurred to me that while it was about someone's discovery of gardening - sowing seeds, watching the plants grow and then harvesting something to eat from them, it was also about how gardening expands your horizon.
From the time she started planning her garden, the author, Helen Babbs, began to go to places in and around London in search of seeds, plants and even urban farms and discovered places and people she never realized existed. I suspect without gardening she might not have ever thought to go to in search of some of these places.
Gardening will do that to a person, lead you to places you never thought you'd go to. Even an experienced gardener like me makes new discoveries related to gardening every year, and through gardening ends up going to places she never thought she'd go to.
I've now been to Austin, Chicago, Buffalo, and Seattle, just to see gardens and meet up with other gardeners who like to blog about gardening. And I've been to Raleigh and Dallas, too, to attend the Garden Writer's Association annual symposium, and to Cincinnati for a regional meeting of GWA.
If I didn't garden where would I have gone and would I ever gone to these places and met all the wonderful people I've met along the way? What would be the horizon for my gardening?
I feel certain if Helen Babbs continues to garden, she'll discover, as many gardeners have already discovered, that gardening leads to the greatest adventures you'll ever have.
(Timber Press gave these books to garden bloggers with no expectations, suggestions, or demands about what to do with them.)