The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden

Downloaded book the 18th of October


are people grown with seeds in their fists. People liked the Victory Garden

I. Genetically Engineered p. 12

some are grown to garden

has a 7.0 operating system to garden

Tony Avent liked wildflowers

he was selling houseplants to neighbors.

He was a plant nerd

learned about propagated plants P. 13

he started a greenhouse and had visitors from around the world

II. The apprenticeship p. 17 by Thomas Christopher

looking at nature and the pollinators

Thomas learned grafting p. 19

liked unexpected moments p.20

time lets us go forward and backward

likes gardening people p.20

III. Taste Testing p.22 by Rosalina

learned about composting

from traveling around the world she liked veggies

She wrote the book on edible Landscaping P. 23

IV. Spring Fever by William Cullina p. 27

waiting for old friend coming back after winter

he has stillness in his soil P. 28

talk of golden rod blossoms P. 30

orders plants which was said to be a good distraction p. 30

Bill can’t wait till spring p. 32

V. My Time Machine by Rick Darke

special dimension

it’s an opportunity to maybe slow things down P. 33

establish points of relevance

you learn of cycles in garden p. 34

VI. Choas Theory by Page Dicky p. 38

Page likes to weed P.38

she talks about leaving the roots of weeds

gardening gives her pleasure p. 39

She got (has) the gardening bug p. 39

Gardeners want to change nature p. 40

VII. There Lies Peace by Helen Dillon

It’s all in the garden p. 43

enjoys any type of gardening

learned from old gardening book p. 44

Being in the garden gives Helen peace

VIII. Island Life by Ken Druse p. 47

worried about rising water and invasive species p. 47

bought property in a flood plane

Japanese stilt grass made him think of giving up

Joy of nurturing plants p. 50

thrill watching plants grow!

VIV Pentimento by Sydney Eddison p. 52

Not sure why she gardens? p. 52

She loves the land/especially swamps

garden is the whole landscape p. 53

She gardened to learn

gardens gave her a chance to write p. 55

for the birds, moment, sprinkling p.56

X. Turkish Delights by Fergus Garrett p. 57

Turkey was our family home p. 57

a gardening gene came from her grandmother

gardening is the love of plants

gentle soul who has laid their laid their spirit and soul in the garden P. 58

being closely involved with organic process P. 60

happiness involves hard work, geminating seeds p. 60

Garden is my home p. 60

XI. Paradise Regained by Nancy Goodwin

found good soul

Nancy thought it was paradise

issue with walnuts hurting her plants

Deer was eating her plants (uncaged)

drive out the deer p. 65

XII. Homegrown by Susan Heeger p. 67

She loves her raised bed veggie garden

garden is always there, for listening or smelling

need something for our own effectiveness

helped father with garden

started eating soup from the garden p. 68 even purple peas

Planted tomato by her elderly dad, her dad sain “you plant a seed, nurture it, it will nurture you, p. 70

XIII. Reasonable Doubt by Daniel Hinkley

As for the school band

Was from a Lutheran family. He could not do anything except for gardening. It was all he had going.

You must be aware of the garden. We work in the dark, do what we can, the rest i s madness.

Daniel studied horticulture and received a masters from Washington

XIV. It All Begin with an Oxygen Mask… by Thomas Hobbs

Magnetic attraction to plants

no one in family gardens

plant adapted me…plants used me or??

need to create beauty!

his first greenhouse was a age 6

XV. A Garden of Happiness by Penelope Hobhouse

use different color screens

garden is to produce order from choas

she like to work alone p.82

spiritual thinking of gardens in Islam P. 82 Islam gardens are more simple

The Garden is a refuge p. 82

successful plants make her happy P. 84

XVI. A Rocky Start by Panayoti Kelaidis

Greek Family

Alan built a rock garden,100lb rocks were gathered p. 85

they dug up plants in the wild p.86

Does mail order gardening p. 88

XVII. Foreign Relation by Roy Lancaster


XVIII. Family Dynamics by Tovah Martin

Does not garden on own free will

She wanted to be a butterfly plants were family p. 97

Evaluated the next doors greenhouse

plants had seniority in hurricanes

a garden should have a function in your life. 🙂

She gardens for “Green Things”

XIX: The Dirty Minded Gardener by Julia Moir Messervy

imagine what will it grow like

have the outcome of the garden in your soul p. 102

She studied Japanese Gardening p. 104

she has become a dirt gardener

balance planting with beautiful bed line p. 106

XX The Flower Thief by Stephen Orr

Stephen like to steal pretty flowers p. 108

5-year-old thief

he grew out of his stealing phase

much beauty in the natural world

spread horticulture to others

XXI. Value added by Anna Pavord

Not only does a garden give pleasure it also instills calm p. 112

grafts patience into my soul

slows me down, owns my senses, don’t feel lonely p. 112

running weedy vinesyou don’t need wads of money to garden

garden is a creation of a setting p. 113

feeling of making things (for gardening)

the cheapness of plants (its questionable)

XXII. The Accompanist by Anne Graver

loves knees in the dirt

uses seed from lasty year (tomato)

witnessing the resilience of the plants p. 118

had invasive plants P. 120

XXIII. Saving Graces by Margaret Roach

Gardening with a vengeance p. 122

It’s been a refuge for Maragret

it was like yoga and meditation

gardening put you face to face with powerlessness p. 123

use experiments, but things will die p. 123

whatever doesn’t die makes you want more p. 125

XXIV. Right This Way by Marty Ross

you never find s box turtle you would like to see p. 127

Marty like small plants, but also talks to the plants p. 128

She has 25 cultivars P. 130

The garden is her escape. p. 130

XXV. Sightings by Claire Sawyers

view of the environment (hummingbirds) p. 133

like using a shovel, can measure process p. 134

Garden to encourage other to garden p. 134

Growing your own goods p. 134

Why doesn’t everyone garden?

XXVI. The Univeral Itch by Amy Stewart

Garden is a thing to do

it could be the oldest enterprise p. 138

it’s very primitive how we interact with plants

digging in dirt is good…feel the soil p. 139

gardening gives you something to pick at P. 140

XXVII. Fruit Loops by Roger B. Swain

Roger was Frugivorous

he grew up on mixed fruit, NOT CANNIBAS

Roger planted much in his vegetable garden

history of horticulture begins with fruit

unless you grow fruit it’s not the real thing

raise your own fruit (eaten now!)

if you don’t have a balance at the end of the year, you did something wrong p. 148

XXVIII. The Web by Douglas Tallamy

he likes that plants clean air

allows pollination

litter for beetles

rest and refill for bird migration p. 150

He likes native plants

feels accomplished growing native plants p. 151

XXIX. Urban Gardener by Richard G. Turner, Jr

excited about the love of nature (birds and bugs)

age of 9 was put in charge of the garden P. 153 landscapping

got interested in urban planning p. 154

wanted to build a wild landscape

moved to San Francisco to both gardening and big building

likes to experiment with plants. Nature is calming

XXX. Simple Pleasures by David Wheeler

has a tree collection added 400 trees

He ponders new plants or different design

Desire is to watch things grow

botonny and science/share with friends’ beauty of nature

30 Great gardeners

2 thoughts on “The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden

  1. This is why I garden; from the book clubs November reading “The Roots of my Obsession” by Thomas Cooper “my chapter”

    Had a family garden at birth. Started planting seeds for lettuce, carrots, and corn by 1970. Both parents grew up on a farm. So eating from the garden seemed to be natural for the family. The garden soon had tomatoes, potatoes, and corn. We had difficulty with carrots because of the clay soil. Growing up your garden needed to be in tip top shape (and it usually was). When I left home for the military (after college) the garden started to “slip” a little. In 1991 I had a traumatic brain injury that brought me back to Rockford.
    Having irregular movements (from Brain Injury) and was encourage to garden…so I did! Thoughts from the Neurologist & therapist were that gardening will help “calm you down”. It might have helped some, but was still fascinated with the biology of a seed becoming a plant. This led me to grow roses. I’ve heard woman like flowers…I’m single..Soooo? . This influence led me to become a Master Gardener and working at the City’s Rose Garden.
    Being a Master Gardener, a rose bed (Red Ribbon Rose shrub) was assigned to me. In fact, it’s the first bed out of 70+ rose beds in the garden. I think I was assigned this bed because of my disabilities and accessibility issues (thanks Mary). Anyway, this gives me excellent opportunities to interact with people “walking/viewing” the roses (like how to prune) and answer general gardening questions. This helps calms me down😊. Helping people garden gives me an outstanding feeling, it’s just like people commenting of viewing my rose shrubs from the street as they drive by our house. People say “Your a good gardener”, but my response from the movie Tin Cup: “A blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while”.
    For 2022, still having irregular movements, looking for “something” that might help my nervous system. This led me to a Japanese Garden, that’s about 2 miles away from our house. In the past few decades I have only visited the garden once or twice.
    Going tech now: I’m thinking that the soothing feeling I’m receiving from hearing the bubbling water (in the garden) is from an estimated 86 billion neurons in my nervous system. In my earlier years I was a Hard Rock guitarist (AC/DC), that used a distortion box. This distortion box gave you the hard rock sound (irregular guitar signal sound). I’m thinking maybe my neurotransmitters (controls neurons) are being distorted somehow? Need to find the neuron controls?
    Have tried a couple meds. for a few months to control the neurons, but didn’t like the side effects. Currently I enjoy sitting in a garden by a stream of running water while practicing tai-chi/yoga poses. Gardens relate to nature, and nature helps me control my inner self.

    Reasons to share this:

    1. Talking points for my MG bookclub
    2. U of I Extension office
    3. Share with my VA Whole Health Team and Primary Care Physician my current status, and that gardening is GOOD for the mind! (Also to help other Vets).
    4. North American Japanese Garden Association


  2. I like watching things grow

    1. My Dad grew up on a farm
    2.he put in the garden in 1961, and it’s been producing veggies ever since.
    3. I came along in 1966
    4. started playing in garden 1970
    5. grew tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes, etc
    6. Went into the military in 1988, and was hurt in 1991 with a Traumatic Brain Injury.
    7. End result was incontrollable tremors
    8. For therapy I heard about gardening
    9. grew pumpkins and was introduced to growing Roses
    10. During this journey I was fascinated on how a plant can grow from a seed?
    11. This influence led me to become a Master Gardener and working at the Citys rose garden.
    12. I’ve heard woman like flowers…I’m single..SOOO?
    13. Being a master gardener, a rose bed was assigned to me. In fact it’s the first bed out of 70+ beds in the garden. I think I was assigned this bed because of my disabilities. Anyway, this gives me excellent opportunities to interact with people “walking/viewing” the roses.
    14. This position gives me an excellent opportunity to share (like how to prune) and answer general gardening questions.
    15. Helping people garden gives me an outstanding feeling, just like people commenting of viewing my rose shrubs from the street as they drive by.
    16. People say I’m a good gardener, but my response from the movie Tin Cp: A blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while
    17. Gardening is nature…which led me to a Japanese Garden (for a soothing feel)
    18. Really like the sound of bubbling water
    19. Thought turned to “why this sound sooths me?” A hypothesis…Maybe the neurons (est. 86 billion) in your nervous system are being distorted. Just like a distortion box hooked up to your guitar. This helps you play “hard rock” music (which can be controlled). This would be the neurotransmitters in your system.
    20. have tried a couple meds for a few months trying to do this, but didn’t like the side effects
    21. currently I enjoy sitting in a garden by a stream of running water while practicing tai chi/yoga poses
    22. Gardens relate to nature, and nature helps me control my feelings


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