27 March 2011

While we wait for spring--more book reviews.

In the words of Bugs Bunny, spring obviously "took a left turn at Albuquerque," as it has gone walkabout from Nova Scotia for the time being. A freak snowsquall dumped five inches of snow on my place Friday night, and while it's slowly disappearing, gale-force winds are keeping most of us from wanting to go outside right now. So we take solace in planning our gardens, including doing some garden book reading.

I'm delighted beyond words at the reviews that have been published about Plants for Atlantic Gardens, and delighted at the feedback gardeners are giving me directly, either through Facebook, Twitter, email, or face to face in meetings. You're all very generous and kind, and I'm thrilled that all the hard work is paying off in encouraging other gardeners--and hopefully, local nurseries, too.
Photographer and budding gardener Ceci Flanagan-Snow writes,
Her vivid descriptions of the physical properties and individual personalities of over one hundred "handsome and hard-working shrubs, trees and perennials", together with the beautiful photographs that accompany each, have given me hope that even I can create an oasis of colour and interest that can be enjoyed year 'round."
Over on Prince Edward Island, where spring is also among the missing, Marguerite of Canoe Corner says, "One gets the sense that this book encapsulates just a portion of the knowledge and experience this author has to offer."

Montreal designer and plantsman Allan Becker writes  "Ms. DeLong writes in a warm and intimate style so that what may have begun as a manual, reads like a letter to a dear friend. This valuable and enjoyable reference book ought to be on the shelves of every public library in the north east where growing conditions are challenging."

In her review of my book in the Chronicle Herald, author Sheree Fitch wrote "Delong is a skilled storyteller and an evocative, lively writer so reading this book felt like I was being led through a garden by a passionate guide who patiently offers wisdom and yes, expertise, so my own future garden and the gardens of Atlantic Canada will bloom."

Cristina da Silva, writing in Ontario from her wonderful website, comments "Jodi's pragmatic no—nonsense approach to plants and gardens also resonated with me... "Remember that plants are living beings, and even when you give them the best of care, they can sicken and die rather arbitrarily." Say how it really is Jodi. Way to go."

Down in Yarmouth, my longtime friend, fellow garden enthusiast and all round excellent writer/photographer Carla Allen comments, "Reading through Jodi DeLong's new book "Plants for Atlantic Gardens - handsome and hard-working shrubs, trees, and perennials," is like having her kneel beside you, chatting as you both work in the soil." 

Because I'm somewhat sleep deprived still, the last time I did one of these I neglected to link to Joan Levack's delicious blog, Box 761 and her review. Joan usually writes about books and writing, and she's smart and funny, and apparently feels I'm the same: "I’ve never enjoyed a gardening book more. Her voice is friendly and smart and funny. She peppers her writing with anecdote and humour, along with the amazing detail and careful science. Her section on “Garden Bullies” (goutweed, for example) is a cautionary tale."

Friend, writer, and fellow Mars-bar afficionado Laura Best says, "If you’re looking for the perfect gardening book, for either yourself or the gardener in your life, this book is it. " 
Kylee Baumle is well known to many of us as a longtime gardenblogger and freelancer, with as much passion for plants as anyone I know. She has a dedicated book-reviewing blog on gardening, and says, "Don't let the "Atlantic" in the title put you off, just because you don't live in that part of the country. And in this case, Atlantic means Atlantic Canada. Again, don't dismiss this book because you think it doesn't apply to you. You'd be missing out on some valuable gardening information if you do."

Another prolific book-reviewer and writer, Colleen McKie of Prince Edward Island, acknowedges that gardening hasn't been her strong suit, adding, "This book is a great resource for Atlantic gardeners of any level. Jodi doesn’t assume the reader is an expert, but she also doesn’t talk down to the reader, either. Rather than coming off as an expert herself (which she is), it’s kinda like having a really knowledgable friend helping you to figure out what to plant in your garden. It’s this conversational tone that really made me embrace Plants for Atlantic Gardens. I love how Jodi throws in little snippets of her own life and gardens into the book."

The mad rush of initial book PR is over now, but I'm appearing at various garden clubs, nurseries, farmers markets, and other events over the coming months. I do hope to get to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island a little later this spring or early summer, depending on work load, etc. If your club, nursery, organization etc would like to have me come speak, sell and sign books, etc, please email me for details. And thank you, everyone, for your support--you've made Plants for Atlantic Gardens a Nova Scotian bestseller for the past four weeks in a row! 


  1. These reviews are super, and you must be thrilled at your book's reception. This is a shout out to you from your friend in California.

  2. Congrats on all the great reviews! I am really looking forward to getting my copy. I'll be at your Bloom Nursery event...I'm going to be in Hammonds Plains the same weekend...yay!

  3. Great news about your book Jodi! Yes, spring sure seems to be lost to us in the northeast. Lovely photos . . . especially love the one with the bumblebee.

  4. We got a little snow last night but we have new baby goats to keep us occupied.

  5. You are not alone, Jodi. Spring is playing tag here too. Sunny but not too spiffy ... very cold. Your book is perfect to curl up with by the fire!

  6. You sound so pleased with your reviews and you should be! It must be excited to have a "best seller" book. It's great to see another "woman" author Maritimer making their mark in Canada!

  7. Congrats on the great reviews.

    You must be justifiably proud.

    Can't wait to get my copy of your book.

    C'mon spring !

  8. Congratulations again for the success of your book. On the other side, i am amazed at the long time before your spring arrives, we are already at our dry season and it is already getting sooooo hot!

  9. I too am awaiting my copy as ordered. Any day now I am sure. Anxiously waiting as I put in the order with an independent bookseller (so few left, I know) and have to wait until his shipping order is filled. Snow here is on the way out for the second time and I am itching to start the season. Great reviews, I hope to add mine also.

  10. And all those glowing reviews are WELL DESERVED.

    Congratulations again.

    All joys and spring WILL come soon. Snow in Maine too.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  11. It's lovely to hear such great reviews! Now tell me -- what is that flower up the top there?

  12. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments!

    Chookie, if you mean the first one in the post, that's a yellow magnolia--not sure which one, possibly Yellow Bird. Pretty pretty thing, isn't it?

    Looking forward to seeing you, Sara, and anyone else who comes out to Bloom!


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