The Expectant Gardener – In a horticultural journey that spans a decade, culminating with the birth of her son Leo, Simone Martel describes in colorful, richly textured detail her own growth as an organic gardener. Tracing her love of gardens back to her childhood, Martel reveals how she learned to create one without the use of chemicals, or the latest fashionable tool.
Through her journal-like style, she invites us into her garden in the Berkeley flatlands, on her weed-pulling or snail-hunting forays or when she creates a pond or "womb chamber". Most of all, she shares with us how growing things can enrich our lives, connecting us to the larger natural world of which any garden, any gardener, and all of life is a part.
As a child, Martel found herself mesmerized by the mysterious force of gardens. Enveloped by the beauty and scent of her mother's garden, and later entranced by an estate garden affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley, Martel built an abundant storehouse of vivid memories that ultimately paved the way for her to create a garden of her own soon after marrying. A seeker of knowledge who devoured gardening books at each stage of her journey, Martel writes with ease and grace in an account detailing the transformation of a rather barren lot into an inviting and nurturing garden space. Her account of the evolution of her own personal landscape, accompanied by its appealing design and overall planting plan, is highly readable and thoroughly engaging. As is the story of this budding gardener's journey--a progression from novice to avid horticulturist to mother! –Alice Joyce
Publisher: Creative Arts Book Company
Paperback: 193 pages