Garden Bloggers Book Club June - July Selection

The time has come to announce the June – July selection for the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club.

It’s summer-time, the grape vines are going wild, and the livin’ ought to be easy, so I chose something a bit more light-hearted, a book and topic that we can hopefully just enjoy and not think too much about.

Want a hint?

Look at your hands. Do you have calluses on your palms, a few scrapes and scratches on your fingers, and dirt under your finger nails? No matter how much you scrub your hands, do you find that they still don’t look quite clean? When you are with people who don’t garden, do you find yourself attempting to hide your dirty hands or do you display them proudly because after all, you are a gardener, and dirty hands is just part of being a gardener.

Yes, you are correct if you guessed that the June-July selection is People with Dirty Hands: The Passion for Gardening by Robin Chotzinoff.

One quote from the back cover of the paperback edition sums up nicely what this book is about. “A lively homage to the passion of gardening” with “a delightful gallery of men and women devoted to the promise of the earth.” – People

To participate in the book club, just read the book and then write a post about your thoughts on the book, or what struck you as funny, what parts you identified with, or anything else related that you think of.


As always, there are other ways to participate in the book club.

Keeping with the theme of gardeners who have a passion for gardening, you can read one of these books about specific passions for gardening instead of the main selection and write a related post.

Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening by Aurelia Scott

Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen

Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking, and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren

Or read all four books! Just kidding on that, though if you were one of those kids who joined the library reading club every summer of your kid-hood and read all the books in the first week, you might have to the fight the urge to read all four books!


Still not sure if you have time participate in the book club this summer? There is one other option that doesn’t even involve reading a book!

Yes, you can still participate in the book club without ever reading a book by writing a post about someone you think has a passion for gardening, maybe someone you look up to and admire for their passion for gardening, or a gardener who helped you be a better gardener or a mysterious gardener that you haven’t really met, but you’ve seen their garden and wonder what they are like.


If you’ve been thinking about joining in the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club, this is the perfect time to do so, with so many ways to do it.

So what are you waiting for? Get one of these books or start writing your post about a passionate gardener you know. You have all of June and July to write a post and publish it on your blog, or if you don’t want to wait until the last minute, you can post tomorrow and get the ball rolling.

Just let me know when you have posted, and I’ll pick up a link to your post to include in the virtual meeting post to be published on July 31st.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Leave a comment or send me an email.

All are welcome to participate!


  1. Yay! I love this book. When Robin came to interview me I had her sign my copy of it. (Isn't it nice to meet an author and already own one of her books?) I've been dipping into it again ever since. I love the way she characterizes the people she interviews and their passions--although it made me feel a bit wary wondering how my "character" would come across. My wariness was instantly dispelled when she showed up at my door on her bicycle. From that point on we were just two gardeners talking about our passions: writing and gardening.

  2. I might actually have to participate in this one, Carol, as Robin is a fellow Austinite, fellow blogger, and she came over to my house at the Spring Fling. I keep hearing how good her book is, but I just hadn't had a chance to read it yet.

  3. I was surfing on another garden blog and saw your intriguing photo (Gibson girl pushing old lawnmower). I love it. Anyway, had to stop by your site and check it out. Lots of really nice photos.

  4. Since I recently gave my copy of "People With Dirty Hands" to Lori, the Gardener of Good and Evil, I guess that means she'll be the one to write the post this time, Carol!

    You'll have to Twitter her about it.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  5. Hello, I am fairly new to the garden blog world. I just started my own blog last month. My Mom got me started when I sent her pictures of my garden. I found your blog through one of my Mom's friends. (Obsessive/Compulsive Plant Collector) I have really enjoyed reading your blogs. They are very inspiring. I would love to join the Garden Blogger's Book Club. I love to read and I love to garden. I have a post from yesterday on my site at the moment about my passionate gardener mentor. Hope you enjoy it.

  6. MSS@ZanthanGardens, I hope you'll participate with a post this summer about the book. I consider you a passionate gardener who could be in the book.

    Pam/Digging, It would be great to have you join in this summer!

    Rose and Lilacs, Welcome and I'll be around to check out your blog as well!

    Annie in Austin, I will for sure let Lori know, and I hope you'll still participate with one of the other options.

    Perennial Gardener, Welcome and thanks for kicking things off with the post about your passtion gardening mentor. I'll be around to read it soon!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  7. Well, you know I love Robin's book, and I have Otherwise Normal People, so of course, I'm in.~~Dee

  8. I am so excited that people are going to read this 10+-year-old book that I wish I could send all of you a drywall bucket full of aged rabbit poop, which I consider to be the best compost of all. Seriously, this is great for me. If you have any trouble finding the book, contact me through my blogsite and I can send you one, cheap and signed.

  9. Carol,
    I haven't yet had a chance to read the Book Club suggestion list yet, because I'm totally immersed in a couple of books that I'm really enjoying right now. One in particular - Designing with Succulents - is especially good. I've written about the books on my blog. Once you can pry my eyes off of these, I'll work on your list, too.
    Robin at Getting Grounded

  10. this book was great.....very, very, funny as well....I had forgotten all about the Antique Rose Emporium! Went to their web site and found many interesting things again.....You won't be sorry to read this.........


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