THE WORDS joy and delight figure prominently in writer Ross Gay‘s work, and so do moments he spends in his garden and descriptions of his relationship to plants. Now is that a coincidence that the garden is a main character in his books, books with the titles “Inciting Joy” and “The Book of Delights” and the latest, “The Book of (More) Delights”?
As a longtime gardener who finds both joy and delight in my life outdoors, I don’t think so. It’s no surprise to me at all that from garlic-and-sweet-potato harvest times or devouring fresh figs from a friend’s tree, Ross Gay finds himself positively delighted.
I wanted you to meet him and hear about his work and learn what he’s up to in his Indiana garden.
Ross Gay’s four books of poetry and three of essays have won him much praise. He teaches writing at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he also gardens. (Above, self-sown sunflowers and castor bean in his garden.)
Plus: Enter to win a copy of “The Book of (More) Delights” (affiliate link) by commenting in the box near the bottom of the page.
Read along as you listen to the Sept. 25, 2023 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here).
a garden of delights, with ross gay
Margaret Roach: It’s that time of the season, Ross, I don’t know.
Ross Gay: Yeah, yeah.
Margaret: The harvest time; the cleanup still lies ahead and oh, boy. Got to keep going, yeah.
Ross: Yeah, yeah.
Margaret: And we recently did a “New York Times” column together, which was really fun. So I was so glad to get to meet you. And so since I started reading your books and got to talk to you for that story, I
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Today we’re visiting with Rachel, a gardener and artist living in Elgin, Illinois (Zone 5b). She moved in 2022 to 1.5 acres and is in the process of designing and planting a fabulous front garden. She’s also diving into forest restoration for the back half-acre—making it beautiful for wildlife and her kiddos.
MY, HOW TIMES have changed. That’s what I keep thinking, looking around my own garden in recent years. I’ve been struck by the same thought over and over as I read “The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year,” the latest book by Margaret Renkl (illustrated with gorgeous collages by her brother, Billy Renkl, like the one above), which takes us through a year in her garden 1,000 miles to the south of mine in Nashville.
A few weeks ago, frequent GPOD contributor Cherry Ong took us along on her visit to Bellevue Botanical Garden in Bellevue, Washington (GPOD on the Road: Bellevue Botanical Garden) but she sent too many photos to share that day, so we’re going back today to see some more of the beautiful images of this inspiring public garden.
Several times a year a visitor to our garden is shocked to find a rogue steak knife pierced downward in one of the beds, as if it were an escapee from our kitchen knife block. I’m always quick to tell them that it’s indeed where I meant to place it, and that I haven’t found any tool as great as a serrated knife when it comes to removing grass or root systems. It’s perfect for edging small areas or pulling up entire sheets of grass; all I have to do is start on one side and pull up as I carefully saw back and forth. It can be a cheap purchase from a thrift store—or in my case, the way I finally convinced my husband that we needed a new set of kitchen knives.
Moss campion plant (Silene acaulis) is a rock garden plant native to the Arctic tundra and high mountains of Europe and North America. In the U.S., it is confined to the Western mountains and New England, particularly Maine and New Hampshire. Its mat-forming, evergreen foliage is found tucked away in elevations too high for trees to grow, with harsh winters and short summers. While it cannot survive in the shade, it prefers moist soil.
As the seasons start to change, now is the perfect time to take a trip to your nearest garden. Enjoy a long walk and catch the very last of late summer, while watching leaves turn amber and gold. Make sure to use your 2-for-1 Gardens card on your visit to ensure you’re making savings on your day out.
Discover a gardening haven at diygarden.cc. Get inspired with our expert tips, DIY projects, and innovative ideas to create a beautiful and thriving garden. From plant care to landscape design, our articles, guides, and videos have you covered. Join our community of passionate gardeners and share your success stories. Find tranquility and harmony with nature as you nurture your garden. Let us be your guide on this rewarding journey.
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