A Way to Garden -- Gardening information and inspiration from Margaret Roach
Margaret Roach Inc
PO Box 211
Copake Falls, NY 12517

A WAY TO GARDEN DOT COM, born March 2008, is the latest horticultural incarnation of me, Margaret Roach, with my own words and photographs (taken here in my Hudson Valley, New York, garden) as its DNA. You can visit 24/7/365 online, or come visit on tour or workshop days.

The blog (which people always think is Away to Garden, rather than A Way, as in my way) is named for a book I wrote early in my garden career, and in the life of my garden. “A Way to Garden” was named best garden book of 1998 by the Garden Writers Association of America, and is now a collector’s item.

I have been writing about gardening for more than 20 years; in my previous lives I was garden editor at Newsday (one of the country’s largest dailies) and then for Martha Stewart, where I was the first garden editor of “Living” and later editorial director of the magazines, books and internet.

Sunny DayI “retired” in 2008 (at a very young age, thank you) to my 2.3-acre garden, bordering on the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I walked away from a fancy job and “success” to explore personal creativity again—something executives don’t get to do much between meetings.

A Way to Garden was my first warmup session toward that end, and it stuck, thanks to kudos from The New York Times, Washington Post, Apartment Therapy, Dallas Morning News and others, and to readers who seemed to appreciate my take on the topic, which is simply this, as the logo proclaims:

horticultural how-to and “woo-woo.”

Please note:

* I speak serious botanical Latin, but long ago lost count of how many genera, species and varieties grow here.
* I am also an old-fashioned, organic-style gardener and a vegetarian (for 30-plus years), so…
* I put up a sizeable chunk of the food I eat each year. I would have made a good hippie; maybe that is who I am at heart.
* Gardening is not my hobby, it is my spiritual practice and life partner. I hope it will become yours.
* I find most things funny; laughter helps me learn, and I will use it liberally to help you learn, too, and to entertain (which explains the weekly doodles by my friend Andre Jordan).

Other than Andre’s column, I create everything you see here: writing, photos, and the weekly email newsletter. Even the occasional peach clafoutis. But I could not do it without the help of web designer Ken Smith and the WordPress experts at WebDevStudios. Here’s my entire gratitude list.

My experiments in “personal creativity” are expanding. I have written a dropout memoir about finally daring to leave “success” behind and embrace the rural life. “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” is due in February 2011 from Grand Central Publishing. The “button” on the top right of the header of this blog called “my new book” will tell you more in the months ahead.

I am also the co-founder and chief cook and bottle-washer of The Sister Project, a blog network that explores all the meanings and facets of the words “sister” and “sisterhood.” Brothers also welcome; come see us.

I (through Margaret Roach Inc.) am also about to become a publisher for the first time, of my baby sister Marion’s helpful, hilarious how-to manual on first-person writing, based on a sold-out class she’s been teaching for 12 years called “Writing What You Know.”

I do not take ads here on A Way to Garden, so you can register your thanks by subscribing to my free newsletter, by one day buying the books my sister, Marion, and I write (in April 2010 I published her fourth, on writing memoir), or just by saying hello in comments.

The listings in my “blogroll” are places I have actually shopped; I receive no free stuff nor do I get paid to mention people. It’s easier and more ethical that way.

I love technology, and particularly the platform called WordPress, and I consult with a few select clients a year to help them enjoy the digital medium as much as I do. More about my professional life is on Margaret Roach dot com.

Want to know more about me and my relationship with both sides of the gardening equation, the hands-on and the touchy-feely? Read on.

Want to know how this site is best navigated? That’s here.

You can or at follow margaretroach on Twitter.

And “we” are also a fan page called “A Way to Garden from Margaret Roach” on Facebook.

The garden has been open to tours for 13 years as part of the national Garden Conservancy Open Days visiting scheme and on other occasions; get the 2010 schedule.

You can contact me with this form, or at any time by commenting on a post.

I welcome you and hope you find what you are looking for in my albeit very personal approach to the world of plants and the magical forces of nature.

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