Category Archives: Home and Garden

The Seeds of Spring: Lessons from the Garden by Steve Bates

The Seeds of Spring:  Lessons from the Garden by Steve BatesReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

As the country is in the grips of winter, what better than to pick up a book that turns our minds toward spring? The Seeds of Spring: Lessons from the Garden is just the ticket for these cold blustery days. Written as a series of essays, readers follow the author through a year of his trials with maintaining a garden. While the book has a fair amount of practical garden information, this is really a volume to be read an essay at a time and then pondered over for a bit.

Beginning just after the holidays, the author starts the reader off by savoring over the new seed catalogs that have arrived. The garden is fairly dormant for the winter, so what better time to leaf through the glossy pages dreaming of what shape your own garden will take this summer? But after awhile the need to actually feel the soil in one’s fingers becomes too much to ignore. After all, there is always something to be done in the garden-even in the coldest days of winter one can cut back the raspberries.

The need to feel the soil and the therapeutic value of doing so is much talked about throughout the book. While the reader visits with author Bates through his essays, one is struck by the philosophical attitude he takes towards gardening. Yes, he’s eager to avoid blossom rot on his tomatoes and yearns to avoid grubs taking out the asparagus crop, but even more important to him than the actual outcome is the process.