Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review of Chris Eischele's Garden Truths From My Family's Stories

I have to admit up front that I know nothing about gardening—I regularly cause silk flowers to die by over-watering them.  So it doesn’t take much for me to admire those who have the knack.  However, Christine Eirschele has more than a knack—she has achieved the status of a certified Master Gardener.

Author & Gardener
Chris Eirschele
Chris loves to garden and she loves to write about gardening.  Her awesome blog Staygardening.com ranges from specific tips about container gardening and growing edible plants to reviews of public, private, and community gardens. She is a contributing writer at BucketTripper.com  and has also written for a variety of other online sites and magazines, as well as offering her expertise speaking to community groups.  A Wisconsin native at heart, Chris now resides in Arizona, and so her knowledge of plants spans a breadth of climates.

Now Chris offers her readers, gardeners, and memoir lovers like myself a new gift.  She has compiled a collection of family stories, memories, and gardening tips into a volume titled

It turns out that Chris comes by her gardening acumen via genetics—both her father and her mother were avid, if perhaps quirky, gardeners.  So, she begins her collection of stories describing her “Legacy of Growing up Gardening.” 
In the house I grew up, soil was never dirt and the scents of organic compost no more bothersome than the smell at my nose from a bar of soap.

Earthy memories mix with tender and often comical vignettes of collecting seeds, transporting fruit trees in the back of a Rambler (that will date you, if you know what a Rambler is!), and her father hanging oranges and a banana on his brother’s apple tree that was too young to bear fruit of its own.

I especially enjoyed the chapter “Leaving Babette for French Gardens,” in which she brings to life small moments like burying the family’s pet dog in the garden, “his grave planted over with red and pink sweet Williams.” Reminiscing about touring France as a child with her mother who grew up there, Chris marvels over French container gardens that contrast with “the formal symmetrical well-manicured gardens found around the castles and estates” of that country. 

Garden Truths From My Family’s Stories is a wonderful and endearing read. It is Chris Eirschele’s first e-book and is available through Amazon for those who own Kindles.