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This Rambling Affair: A Year in a Country Garden

This Rambling Affair: A Year in a Country Garden
Des Kennedy
Seattle, Wash.: Sasquatch Books
Publication Date: 

paper, 241 p., $15.95.

Gardeners are pilgrims on a purposeful venture, maintains Des Kennedy in This Rambling Affair in describing his rambling and undisciplined garden in British Columbia. While the gardening life is one of virtues, quiet contemplation, delight in beauty and the tranquility of the moment, whimsy is the lifeblood of ornamental gardening. He writes of the making and unmaking of a garden he and his wife have built over 30 years.

Kennedy organizes his book month by month but spices up his yearlong pilgrimage with plenty of puns, literary allusions and humorous descriptions of life in British Columbia, rather like Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon. In a highly readable, short essay style, Kennedy describes the foibles, idiosyncrasies and compulsions of gardeners while handing out practical gardening knowledge on diverse subjects: hedges, small bulbs, pruning fruit trees, thorny plants, tent caterpillars, deer, large plants, garlic, poppies, tomato blight, blue flowers and Japanese maples, among others. There is a lot of gardening experience presented here in lilting and amusing writing; it is a book to enjoy.

— Adele Kleine, Garden Writer and Contributing Writer to Chicagoland Gardening magazine.