Friday, November 16, 2012

Finding Your Confidence in the Garden

I've always loved curling up with garden books on cold winter days. There's something about getting lost in the dreams their pages inspire. If I think about the hundreds of garden books that line my bookshelves, those that stand out in my memory have a single trait in common.

I can feel the spirit of the gardener in between the lines. 

Helen Yoest's new book Gardening with Confidence has taken its rightful place among those spiritual volumes in my library.

I've had the great opportunity since I started blogging to meet many garden writers and now consider some of them among my closest friends. I've known Helen since early 2011, when we were both invited to Miami as a part of the Costa Farms Social Summit. From the moment I met her on that balmy South Florida morning, I've been humbled by her knowledge, compassion and class. Most of all, I've admired her confidence in how she writes, gardens and lives.


So many books focus on the "how-to" or the "you should" in gardening. Not this one. In Gardening with Confidence, Helen explores fifty garden concepts (such as color, movement and children in the garden) in a way that allows the reader to understand, but then implores the gardener to apply them to their own sense of style and creativity. Helen shares her personal experiences throughout the chapters, as inspiration not edicts.

Much like a well-written garden book reveals the spirit of the gardener between the lines, gardens announce the spirit of the gardener in every plant and along every path. The central premise of Helen's book is this: Our gardening success lives and grows when our gardens reflect our own style and personal creativity. She inspires us to bend -- and even break -- the rules to find our confidence in the garden.

If you're looking for a wonderful gardening book to curl up with this winter, you won't be disappointed in Gardening with Confidence. Hop on over to Helen's website or Amazon.com to order your copy today. It would make a great holiday gift for your gardening friends!

Giveaway: Win your own copy of the book! 

I'm also giving away an autographed copy of Gardening with Confidence. All you need to do is leave a comment below about how you express personal style in your own garden. I'll randomly choose the winner from one of the comments on Friday, November 23. The chosen winner will need to supply a mailing address where the book should be shipped.


FTC Disclosure: Helen Yoest is providing the autographed copy of her book for this giveaway. I was a reader of the final manuscript. All opinions about the book are my own.




20 comments:

  1. Thank you, Christopher! You are too kind. I appreciate you helping me with the final read. It's friends like you that make the process of book writing a pleasurable journey...I'm so happy we walk the path of friendship together. H.

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  2. Thank you for offering a copy of your book.
    Our style would be that we are the only home in our area that grows food, flowers, shrubs and trees in our small front and back yard in raised beds - creating an environment for ourselves and nature which adds beauty to our area.
    jenny

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  3. Great giveaway! Our style is very eclectic and mostly child-centered. The kids get to pick out the majority of the veggies and flowers we grow. The girls like lots of pink while the boys like lots of Tonkas.

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    1. That's smart, Modern Mia. Kids become vested in the garden and learn to love what they grow! I like Tonkas too. Did you see this post? http://gardeningwithconfidence.com/blog/beyond-bunnies-garden-art/the-garden-of-christopher-mello-asheville-nc/

      The boys would LOVE this garden. H.

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  4. My urban gardens personality is very chicken centric and just like a little companion chicken helping in the garden I endoy companion planting. Flowers and vegetables intermingled

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    1. Chicken centric? I like it! I'm getting a coop for Christmas, and look forward to my journey to become chicken centric too. H.

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  5. As our style changes from a display garden to a senior-with-back-problems garden we see the simple in a whole new way. Quiet and structured, easy and relaxed.

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  6. So nice to come across your blog, Christopher. Gardening and writing are incredibly soul fulfilling pursuits.

    Herbs, tomatoes, and peppers are currently on my garden "A" list. I'm also fascinated by pollinators.....bees and butterflies. The more natural visitors I attract, the more interesting my garden becomes.

    Have a wonderful holiday week. In this time of cultural and political chaos, I'm still thankful for many things. Gardening is definitely at the top of that list!

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  7. Sounds fantastic!

    I keep trying to create an English garden in my Central Illinois backyard, but it's not very cooperative.

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    1. Congratulations! You've won the giveaway! I've sent you an email with details on claiming your prize.

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  8. My garden style is very natural, flowing, and low maintenance. As a horticulture educator I put the right plant in the right place (hopefully), but as a naturalist my gardens are so much more. They provide a respite for me everyday - a place to journal and reflect, savor homegrown tea, and spend time with the flora, fauna, and people I love.

    Thanks Chris!

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  9. My garden is continually trying to balance the appetites of the local wildlife and my desire to provide the beauty of the flowering perennials. This last year the deer and rabbits had the uperhand.

    This book sounds very interesting.

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  10. I heard Helen speak on garden art last year at NWFGS and boy does she have confidence in the garden! Love her fearless style. I hope I bring across my own unique style in the garden. I try to express it with colour and creativity. My garden often reflects my dramatic tendencies. :)

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  11. We were fortunate enough to have Helen visit our gardens last Spring, and she shared a few of her ideas and tips with us. The book would be a great way to help remember all that she said, and learn about things we've probably never thought of. Our style??? Right now semi-organized chaos that caters to birds, butterflies and pollinators, and the occasional deer. We're trying to get it to the point where it's less work and more enjoyment. Thanks for the chance, Chris.

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  12. My garden style is being recreated as we have recently moved to a new property with a totally different feel ... from suburbia to our lakeside dream home. I could really use Helen's advice!

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  13. My garden style centers around color. I love to mix and match plants of all colors - some coordinating, some not - to ensure maximum visual impact. It has been interesting over the years to see what looks "good" together and what doesn't work. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

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  14. My garden style is all over the place - practical/edibles, eclectic/epiphytes, orchids, cacti and succluents. I need a focus.

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  15. Thank you all for entering the giveaway. A winner had been selected (using Random.org) and notified! It's Cashmere Librarian!

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  16. Congratulations, Cashmere Librarian! For everyone else, I'm holding a giveaway on my blog Gardening with Confidence® starting December 13th. I hope you try again over there. It meant a lot tom me that you entered to win. Thank you.....H.

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