Garden Bloggers' Book Club November Newsletter

Greetings, and welcome to the November Edition of the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club Newsletter.

A gentle reminder of the November “meeting”.

I’d like to get all your blog posts about The Essential Earthman by Henry Mitchell rounded up by this Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving in the United States), so I can publish a post on Friday, November 24th with links to all of them. As noted by Annie in Austin, November 24th was Henry’s birthday, so it seems like the right day to “meet” via posting a blog entry with links to everyone’s posts. I’ve heard from Kathy of Cold Climate Gardening, The Good Earth, Genie the Inadvertent Gardener, and The Transportable Rose, Annie in Austin that their posts are published and ready. I think there are a few other postings about Henry and his book around about on the blogosphere, including my own. If you’ve posted and I didn’t list you here, send me a comment to let me know.

(Noted added... Okay, we are a club with relaxed rules. If Thanksgiving break was when you had planned to read the book, that's okay. You can post your thoughts later, and we will do another big post again at the end of the month so everyone is included. I wouldn't want anyone to not read this great book because of some deadline that is totally made up!)

December Selection

Most clubs take it kind of easy in December, don’t they? So much going on, it is a good month to just visit and exchange Christmas goodies and share memories of past meetings. But how do you do that with a fairly new “virtual” online club that doesn’t even meet via a chat but communicates through posts and occasional questions on the gardening group forum at LibraryThing, set up by Kathy of Cold Climate Gardening?

Well, we’ll just make it a more relaxed month via our book selection and “post assignment”.

So, without further fanfare or build up, the December book selection is “My Favorite Plant” edited by Jamaica Kincaid. The subtitle tells all about what we can expect inside. “Writers and Gardeners on the Plants They Love”. Many garden writers and writers who just love gardening have contributed. I recognized some of the contributors, others I didn’t, so I am looking forward to reading this book because it may also lead me to find other writers that I might enjoy reading more of, who might not otherwise have crossed my garden path.

But maybe you are concerned that you will just have no time to read during all the holidays, or didn’t have time to read The Essential Earthman and feel you missed out on November? Or maybe you can’t get this book, or are just looking for an excuse to not post for the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club in December? If so, you will be delighted that I’ve worked it out so there is really no excuse for not participating! You can still participate in the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club by just writing a post about your favorite plant sometime during the month of December and sending me a link for the round up posting at the end of the month. We all have our favorite plants, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to write about yours, should it?

January Selection

Once December is behind us and we have nothing to do but browse through seed catalogs and make resolutions about how much better we will be at tending our gardens if spring will just hurry up, it is time to read a more serious book, one that will help us all become better gardeners, no matter where we live and garden. We’ll start with the very foundation of our gardens, the soil. With that in mind, the January selection is Teaming with Microbes, A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis.

And we are all about flexibility in this virtual garden book club, so if you can’t find a copy of that book at your local library or don’t want to actually buy it because it just isn’t your kind of gardening book, you may choose any book or article about soil, composting, or related topics to read and write a post about it in January. Won’t that be fun? Once you read a good book on soil, it will never be just “dirt” to you again.

February Selection

We are on a roll here with advance information for all the winter reading, so I’ll continue on. Our February selection is “nearly selected” but I’d like your input. I would like to read another garden essayist and have narrowed the choice down to Katherine White or Elizabeth Lawrence. Does anyone have an opinion on one or the other? Or should it just be the book of letters between them? Send me your thoughts and I will try to finalize this one soon, so you can put it on your Christmas wish list if you don’t already have it.

March Selection

March is still a bit open and up in the air, so there is plenty of time to provide more input. What book(s) have you put on your wish list? What topics do you think we should explore? All ideas are welcome; send them via comments!

That’s it for the November Newsletter of the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. Well, there go my "you can finish Earthman over Thanksgiving" plans!

    For February, I'll vote for Two Gardeners, the letters, only because I've bought the book and haven't read it yet. But, if there is more interest in something else, then I'll read that, too.

  2. February: I vote for Two Gardeners, only because I've bought the book but haven't read it yet. But, if others want something else, I'll gladly read it.

  3. I just sent an email to my local library, requesting they purchase a copy of Teaming with Microbes. By the way, I thought you had "teaming" misspelled until I looked it up on Amazon.

    It probably has something to do with who's using the new Blogger and who's using the old, but on your blog it wants to sign me in as Kathleen. I'm still Kathy to everyone but my mother--and Blogger, apparently!

  4. For February, I vote for Two Gardeners. I'm already doing some checking for the December book, and so far it's not looking good. My library system stinks. I may have to go for the "write about your fave plant" option.

  5. All, I wanted to bring to your attention the following comment from one of the authors of "Teaming with Microbes"... He posted it over on the Garden Bloggers Book Club blog entry which is a link back to here.

    "Hi Carol and others. Glad you are reading "Teaming with Microbes." There is a major mistake on page 41 where the definition of pH is incorrect. The proper definition is if you have lots of hydrogen ions, you have a low pH or acid...and fewer, higher pH and basic.

    Sorry about that. Big goof-up. Now corrected!

    Let me know if you have questions!

    Jeff Lowenfels, author Teaming With Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web...."

    Mark your books with the correction if you already have the book. Thanks for the update, Jeff.

  6. Carol, all choices sound good.
    I tried to get the book Two Gardeners once before and instead received the delightful 'Dear Friend and Gardener' by Chatto and Lloyd.

    For March have you considered a novel in a garden.
    'The Lost Garden'
    by Helen Humphreys is quite moving.Although it might be considered a chick book.
    Here's my November contribution.
    'Essential Earthman'

  7. Carol,

    I did a couple of Essential Earthman posts over at ITGO. Here are the links to them:
    Mitchell's Reflections on the Cycle of Life
    Henry Mitchell--My New Gardening Hero

    Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Colleen, Gloria, I've added your posts to the list... Carol

  9. Carol,

    I'd vote for Katherine White - is it Onward and Upward in the Garden??? I have this on my shelf.
    Elizabeth Lawrence I don't have but my mother in law has several volumes which I skimmed through last week while in the US on an early Thanksgiving trip. Too much on bulbs for my interests and also geographically distant!

    Happy Thanksgiving

  10. Here's my Earthman post. I've more mentioned him in passing, than devoted an entire post to him. I'm not so good at following directions!
    It was a great book, though. Thanks for the reco. I'll try to do a better job next month.

  11. Hi Carol,

    I posted my comment about this month's selection at LibraryThing.

    I would like to suggest for March "Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening" by Vigen Guroian.

  12. Carol: Here's my Earthman post. Thanks for doing this, and have a great Thanksgiving!

  13. FYI, I set up a category in my Amazon store for the Garden Bloggers Book Club.I doubt more books will be sold this way, but it makes it all look so official!

  14. Kathy, that's great, it does seem more official. Thanks!


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