cloth, 256 p., $50
Author and photographer Ken Druse presents his experiences and personal reminiscences on gardening in this attractively photographed publication. Each chapter in The Passion for Gardening: Inspiration for a Lifetime reads like a letter to a friend; his stream-of-thought prose tells about his collaboration with nature. Several of Druse’s observations ring particularly true. Gardening is a lifetime recreation, as an individual’s vision of the perfect garden is ever changing. Working the soil provides an education through memories, experience, and the knowledge gleaned from it. It gives personal satisfaction if one does what is right and good for the land. The gardener is only a junior partner to Mother Nature.
Druse illustrates his concepts with photographs of both private and public gardens, and with remarks from similarly minded, dedicated gardeners. As a photographic artist, Druse uses his talents admirably. The reader will be torn between perusing the text intently and skimming the pages in order to view the beautiful photographs more quickly. Such a situation is surely a complement to the author.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden