"This is no 'how-to' book. Instead, James Raimes leads you around his garden to savor its delights and experience the problems he encounters. His elegant prose [and] literary and artistic allusions allow you to enjoy it a chapter at a time, and smile while doing so."
Elizabeth Scholtz, director emerita of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
In his entertaining memoir, Gardening at Ginger: My Seven-Year Obsession with Designing and Planting a Personal Landscape (Houghton Mifflin, May 24, 2006), James Raimes shares with us his learning, labor, and love of creating a garden landscape. Raimes offers more than his experiences breaking trowels or agonizing over the placement of plants, rocks, and fences; he tells the story of a great discovery: that as we try to shape a landscape to reflect who we are, we find that who we are has been reshaped in the process.
Seven years ago, Raimes, a former assistant director of the Columbia University Press, and his wife bought a country home he dubbed "Ginger" on nine acres in upstate New York. Inspired by the natural beauty of the land and a desire to learn to garden, Raimes found himself obsessed with such questions as why gardeners keep moving plants around, what the names of lawn grasses are, and how one can impose order in a garden and at the same time make it look natural.
From memories of his aunts' gardens in England to current annual gardening to-do lists, Raimes takes readers into the heart of his discoveries. He openly shares his successes and failures, aches and pains, frustrations and delights. Readers will laugh at his battles with nosy animals, sympathize with his injuries, and smile at the simple peace of life at Ginger.
Gardening at Ginger is a wonderful book for current and aspiring gardeners who want to design their own personal landscapes or for anyone dreaming about life after retirement.
James Raimes is the former assistant director of the Columbia University Press.
In the warm months of the year, he chases a gardening dream on some sloping acres in Chatham, New York;
in the cold months he writes about it in Brooklyn. Raimes and his wife, Ann, a textbook author, were born in England.