From Shelf Awareness
March 20, 2008

"So many books, so little time." It's not just booksellers and readers who chant this lament; book reviewers have an added burden. Guilt. There is much published that is worthy of notice, but both time and space are limited. So we are introducing Shelf Sample: a review-ette, as it were, with an excerpt of a book we really like, brief and hopefully intriguing.

Wendy Johnson, author of Gardening at the Dragon's Gate, has been meditating and gardening at Green Gulch Zen Center in northern California for more than 30 years. In this 447-page tome, she writes of everything one could wish for, from the art and practice of watering the garden, to pruning roses, to kitchen-generated garden sprays, to the pleasures of walking in the garden under a full moon. Beautifully illustrated by Davis Te Selle, laced with tasty recipes, filled with wisdom, this is a book that propagates dreams and plans. From the book:

"I am a garden dreamer, but a practical one, rooted in working the round and sustained by pushing wheelbarrows full of growing plants. The garden will never be a metaphor for me, but always an actual place of danger and wanton beauty. When I walk into a garden I step into paradise with an address, paradise located on earth."