The staff are looking forward to a winter break and I am planning on catching up on my reading! This fall we presented a series of dynamic speakers via webinar, each of whom shared their knowledge and passion and their new books. With the opening of our new Shop, we are now able to keep these books on hand for you to purchase, and keep the learning going during these quiet months. Signed bookplates are available for a number of these books.
My holiday reading list:
On the top of my pile is Obi Kaufmann’s latest creation, “The Forests of California.” A current bestseller, this 560-page tome is filled with insights and information about our native forests and the plants and animals that inhabit them. Obi’s delightful watercolor illustrations capture the personalities of sparrows and redwoods with equal elan. I am looking forward to diving into this magical world that is California seen through his eyes.
Jennifer Jewell has written an important book about women in the world of plants and gardens. “The Earth in Her Hands” is a collection of vivid profiles of women who are engaged with plants in many ways, from scientists to backyard growers, nursery owners and public garden stewards. Each is making a highly individual contribution to our knowledge, our culture, and the health of the planet. The photographs of these women and their gardens and their own personal lists of inspiring women make this book a milestone in understanding how we live with plants today and how important these relationships are to the future of our world.
I confess that I have already read Bill Noble’s “Spirit of Place,” but I will be going back to it this winter to review the “Guiding Principles” that he has distilled from his career in designing, installing, and preserving gardens. Bill gardens in chilly Vermont, but his lessons about how to use plants to their best advantage and how to capture the context of your backyard apply to gardening anywhere. One of his inspirations has been the great garden at Western Hills Nursery, in Occidental, a touchstone for many contemporary plantspeople. I had the pleasure of working with Bill for nearly 20 years at the Garden Conservancy, where we discovered so many exceptional gardens made by people around the country. These gardens have influenced Bill’s work and his writing and photography are also exceptional.
Finally, I am waiting for the January 5 release of Saxon Holt and Nora Harlow’s new book, “Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates,” a lavishly illustrated compendium of garden advice for gardeners here in the Bay Area. Saxon is a beloved figure in Marin, a noted photographer and advocate for water-wise and beautiful gardening. He is also a long-time friend of Marin Art and Garden Center, and we look forward to welcoming Saxon and Nora in a webinar presentation on January 28th. You can pre-order the book now and have a chance to peruse it before the event.
Visit The Shop to order these great new books – happy reading, and best holiday wishes from all of us at Marin Art and Garden Center!