Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Gardener Book Review

The Gardener Book ReviewThe Gardener book review gives you the opportunity to learn about a great book for kids and adults!  The Gardener is a charming story of a young girl, Lydia Grace Finch who has to go live with her uncle temporarily.  Her family cannot afford to keep her because her father has just lost his job in the depression years of the 1930’s.

Her uncle is a quiet gruff man who doesn’t seem so happy with this situation but deep down he grows to love Lydia Grace.  The story is told through letters that Lydia Grace writes to her family. The author is Sarah Stewart and it is illustrated by David Small.

Lydia Grace makes the best of this unhappy situation and creates a wonderful surprise for her uncle which I will not reveal here.  This story is full of great messages for children and adults–

  1. How to make the best of a difficult situation
  2. How to do great things with just a few materials
  3. How to see the good in someone even though they present a gruff appearance
  4. How to stay positive
  5. How to connect with the people around you
  6. How to communicate with your loved ones who live far away

And from the title you know it is something about gardening so it shows how gardening is such a positive, happy and healing experience.  A child or adult could easily become inspired about gardening from reading this book.

The Gardener won a Caldecott Honor in 1998 and  is a 1997 New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book.  It has 49 5 star reviews on Amazon and one 4 star review which shows how people love it.  It is enjoyable for children and adults as well, many times bringing tears to the eyes at the ending.  Delightful illustrations to go with a delightful story!

Sugar Snap Peas After the Frost

I wanted to see what happens to sugar snap peas after the frost.  So one morning after the frost I ventured out into my garden.  The ground was crusty white with frost.  All the tomato, squash, eggplant, pepper and bean plantsSugar Snap Peas After the Frost were brown and dead.  In the middle of the garden there was an oasis of green, small but definitely green.  At this point, I wished that I had planted more Sugar Snap Peas because there in all their glory they were vibrant and green still growing with lots of flowers producing peas! Here you can see the peas contrasted with a dead green bean plant.

Sugar Snap Peas After the Frost Are a Good Cool Weather Crop

This is whatSugar Snap Peas it means to be a cool weather crop.  The light frosts don’t affect these plants.  This characteristic of being able to withstand the light frosts can extend the life of your garden so that in December you can still eat fresh vegetables.  And believe me, these sugar snaps are delicious!  This picture is a close up of the sugar snap peas after the frost.  At the time of planting in the late summer I didn’t have much time so I only planted a few seeds.  Next year I will plant a lot more.

Plant Sugar Snaps in the Early Spring Also

Cool weather crops are for the early spring and late summer.  Here is a picture of the beans after the first frost.  Quite a contrast to the peas. Green Beans After the First Frost Last year I planted peas about the middle of March.  We had lots of peas for the late spring and early summer.   When you plant in the early spring you really need to put a fence around the plants  so the rabbits don’t eat them.  There is not so much to eat in the early spring so rabbits will definitely have a feast of your baby Sugar Snap Peas if they are not fenced in.  In the late summer I didn’t have any problems with rabbits eating the newly emerged peas. Well I guess we have about 3 months until we can plant again.  Time to curl up with  great gardening books  to dream about the spring!