The Polish Garden Writers Club (2 members so far)

I have a friend named Mike Nowak, a fellow hale & hearty Pole and (hail and hardy) garden writer (although Mike is way way way more prodigious than I). He just sent me his new book, in which he wrote the following inscription (which I suspect he writes in every book he autographs, even when the book was not written by him): “To _____: who is almost as funny as I am”. This made me laugh. A rare thing, these days, what with beheadings, floods, social injustice, and difficulty finding the Alpo dog food my dogs prefer.

Um, back to Mike’s book. One thing I realized about myself after I read most of his essays is that I mostly read backwards. That is, I don’t start at the beginning and go forward. Instead, I randomly thumb through a book, breaking the spine at not-the-middle, let my eye alight on a line of text, and then I read from that point forward. If I like it (which in this case I did, a lot), I will page back to the first paragraph of the essay and then read all the way through. This bad habit probably started in college when I learned to read only the first chapter, last chapter, and last paragraph of every chapter in a book. This trick sped up the Russian Revolution considerably….

Mike also helped me discover another bad habit: I am a page corner “folder-over”. (Hmm, maybe it’s “fold-over-er”?) That’s how, like a dog, I mark territory I like. And I folded over an awful lot of pages in this book. Not because I was learning anything about gardening (no one, not even Mike Nowak, actually KNOWS anything about gardening), but because so many pages are very funny. Out loud funny. Being Polish, of course, I especially enjoyed his description of his long-departed relative, Telewizja Kablowa “Cable TV” Nowakowa, who, operating out of a small village near Krakow, is said to have created cooking recipes for over 12,000 insect species…” This made me guffaw, which in Polish, is spelled, guffav. Or guffow. Never mind.

Last, I found out that Mike and I have distinctly different views of only one thing: the color pink in the garden. Oddly, I spent yesterday taking photos of pink flowers to show you in their dazzling array. Then I opened Mike’s book and read that pink is “ubiquitous, relentless, abhorrent, insidious, formidable, unyielding, despotic, and pitiless.” Tell us what you really think, eh, Mike? Mike blames his horror of pink flowers on early color TV sets, but I? I LOVE pink. PINK, PINK, PINK. PINKETY PINK PINK, can’t have enough. It’s a word that’s fun to say! It’s fun to wear (ok, not if you are manly Mike Nowak.) Or maybe I came to love pink flowers because “I Love Lucy’s” hair was so extraordinarily PINK and GREEN on our tv… Nonetheless, I present PINK IN THE GARDEN:

P1110700

P1110704

P1110714

P1110719

P1110721

What more can I say about Mike’s book, Attack of the Killer Asparagus and Other Lessons Not Learned in the Garden? I can say that if I was inclined to spend a lot of time in a bathroom, this would be the book I would want to read there. (Way way better than Reader’s Digest.) Instead, I think I’ll take it to bed with me and let my husband try to figure out why I’m laughing. Out loud. This time.#

[Buy many copies of Mike’s book here: http://www.aroundtheblockpress.com/Onlinestore.htm]

 

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Books, Social Impact of Horticulture, Uncategorized

4 Responses to The Polish Garden Writers Club (2 members so far)

  1. Martha Drummond

    I loved your pictures of “the pinks”. My phlox have been such a joy this summer and smell so wonderful. Will enjoy seeing if I can put my hands on the book you have described. It is true that we all need a laughing break amid all the heartache going on in the world at present. I don’t speak Polish, but have always appreciated Polish cooking. Have you ever tried making brandies from various fruits available from gardens now. I was speaking to a Polish woman recently who described her process of making brandies, bottling it and savoring it during the winter after it ferments. A nice way to taste the sweet memories of summer.

  2. Martha Drummond

    Previous submission should have been an “A” instead of “I”.

  3. bam

    you are my favorite polish garden writer. you make me laugh out loud all the time. but i’ll check mike out. (i might be with him on the pinks….although all of yours are GORGEOUS!) xoxo

  4. weedpatchgazette

    In response to a question, the flower below the Phlox ‘Jeana’ is a pink Lobelia. I could be wrong (the dog pulled out the tag), but I think it is ‘Monet Moment’.

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