The Backyard Parables:  Lessons on Gardening and Life, Margaret Roach, 2011

Roach, a successful magazine editor and writer, left NYC in 2008 to tend to her 25 year old Columbia County garden full time.  In this book, organized by the seasons and introduced with a parable epigram from the Bible, she shares garden wisdom and life lessons, the former more successfully.  Unmarried and living alone, Roach is self-admittedly totally interdependent with her garden, its woodchucks and chipmunks, its successes and failures. She writes clearly and warmly (though with a bit too much effort at trying to be funny) about the garden, offering practical tips in ‘footnotes’ of some length. She is less successful in drawing the parallels between the garden and her own mortality and aging.  Eric Becker comes in for a shout out about death.  All in all, this is an enjoyable and readable book about a garden and a life. “…nothing about gardening is easy, instant, nonstop, or guaranteed“.