APRIL 2012 Garden Book Review

One of my very favorite blogs, ‘Dreaming of Roses’ is having a monthly book review!  This is where two of my favorite blogs intersect.  Just this week my PRIZE arrived; I won a book from Margaret Roach!  (Her blog, A Way To Garden is amazing and so is she!  If you haven’t visited her blog, go immediately!  And if you don’t know her story, you MUST read her book!)  Fortunately, the book I won is of a subject that is near and dear to my heart, so I am thrilled to review!


Ken Druse is a guru among gardeners.  I heard him speak many, many years ago and have been a devoted fan ever since.  I have most of his books and still refer to them when planning a garden space or when I need a good reference or just some salve for the soul – great photographs to peruse on a cold Winter’s day!

I love to propagate so this book was affirming and inspiring.  On any given day of the year, you will see this on my counter top.

That is page 141 of Ken’s book in the background, with a discussion of hardwood cuttings.  I find some are easy (hydrangea) and some not so easy!  But you will feel encouraged to try after reading his book!  I love the organization of this book by chapter; you will find sowing, vegetative reproduction, cuttings, leaves, layering, grafting, division, geophytes, and roots.  You may not know you are a propagator, but if you are reading gardening blogs, I bet there is a chapter or two in this book that you have explored.  My domestic angel (otherwise known as housekeeper but I revere her much more than that title infers!) just this week gave me a division of her favorite house plant, on the right!

It looked just like the photo in Ken’s book! (small photo on lower right) when she handed it to me carefully wrapped in wet paper towel!  She is a propagator! (And probably wishes I would dabble more in soil OUTSIDE and not inside in her domain!)

Dahlias are an obsession, so of course, I am madly dividing tubers and readying for planting day in the dahlia beds.

Dahlia 'Esther'

If you love ‘Esther’ then you will want to share her with friends!  Propagate!

In his book, Ken explains, “I was born in Spring, and I never got over it!…I love plants – the way they look and smell, leaves crisp in fall and flower buds bursting into bloom in Spring.”  His unabashed love infuses every page and is seen in every photograph.  He is a superb garden writer and photographer and we are all the richer for his bringing his art and craft to  print!  I definitely give two thumbs up to this book, now out in paperback, “Making More Plants, The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation.”

Clementine implores me to sit down,  there is room for both a small spaniel and this wonderful book on my lap!


About Jayne in Georgia

Wife, mother, and owner of pets much loved. Gardener of three decades, amateur photographer, ardent about art, antiques and books.
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8 Responses to MAKE MORE!

  1. elaine says:

    Hi Jane, That book sounds really interesting – I have always propagated from my own plants sometimes successfully sometimes not – so I think it would be of great interest to me.


  2. Holleygarden says:

    I am so glad you brought this book to my attention! I love the way Ken Druse writes, and I have been thinking more and more of propagating plants, but have been a bit hesitant. This book would give me the confidence and push I need to start. Definitely on my “to get” list! Thanks for joining in!


  3. This sounds like a great book. I propagate sometimes, but this may inspire me to do it more.


  4. Dorothy says:

    I love Ken Druse’s books. He is an inspirational gardener. I don’t have this book, but I think I’m going to have to buy it after reading your review. I do try to propagate favorite plants. I’m most proud of my 12 baby clivia plants grown from seeds of the mother plant, but they seem to be having a very long infancy! (Clementine is adorable!)


  5. Is it wrong to covet thy neighbour’s quince? Then I am guilty as sin! LOL I have been eyeing the pale peachy-pink flowers peeking over the fence all week. We’re friends, so I am sure I could persuade her for a cutting. The only other thing I would need then is the book you are recommending so I’d know how to get that cutting to flourish. I will have to look for it in the bookstore.


  6. SO funny! but definitely ask for a few cuttings of the quince!


  7. This book looks very interesting! I’ve added it to my “Gotta get” list! Thanks!


  8. I have all of Ken’s books. He is someone I admire very much. I love how you displayed the book in amongst your cuttings and houseplants. It looks like a magazine article, so well done.


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