Book Review and Giveaway!!!: Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl (aka Danger Garden)

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If you missed the other giveaways! There’s still one more!!!!!

When Loree announced to her friends that she was writing a book we were thrilled about it and for months we went through the process with her. Being part of a large online gardening community, many of us were already familiar with her garden and many creative talents. Loree has always written great posts and content. She is a big part of our local gardening community, she contributes her time to organizations, and all because she genuinely cares about gardening, design with plants, and supporting small businesses and nurseries.

Of course we asked her what her book would be about, but we were also left in a bit of suspense. I’m so glad it arrived in my hands around Christmas and what a fun surprise to open up the text and see how she handled such an exciting writing challenge! The book turns out to be an encapsulation of what Danger Garden is all about and it’s not just her, it’s about the community she grew in, the community she’s part of, the plants she’s both bought and seen in gardens along the way, as well as the people who’ve influenced her vision.

Fearless Gardening is about being inspired and it’s inspiring. It’s also a testament to a garden, a very popular garden in the city of Portland, Oregon one that I often hear about on social media or while I’m at work. Unlike many gardening texts, this one is very practical, personal, and dare I say it, fearless!

As a fellow garden blogger, one who met Loree years ago through that world, I very much enjoyed seeing the tenor of a book on gardening change. Tenor is the relationship between the voice of the author and the reader, and very often, too often, garden books have been written from a position of authority. This is fine if the writer is someone I already admire for their professional accomplishments, but it’s not something I get excited about reading. In the changing world we’re in, one where readers are more challenging to grab, the tone Loree takes is fantastic! I felt like I knew her, I mean I do, but I feel that even those who don’t will feel like they’re talking to, and receiving tips, from a really good friend who has them in mind. She’s genuine in her advice, and honest in how she got to the point where she’s at, and that to me is excellent garden writing.

During the pandemic it’s been a challenge to wait for the book’s release, but what a refreshing and great surprise when it finally arrived. To my mind, it’s the book that needed to be written after having seen so many visitors remark while visiting Loree’s garden, “How did you do this? I’d like to have a garden like yours.” As I read the book, I kept thinking, this is the answer to that question. If you want a garden like this, you really do have to be fearless… and reading this book will help to better understand her design process too. It’s loaded with great photos, fantastic quotes, rules to break, and it reads like a memoir. I really enjoyed reading it.

So for the next 3 days I’m going to be ripping up my garden—as we do—after we’ve been pumped up and inspired by a great gardening romp on the page.

Felix looking out the car window at Danger Garden. I’m one of only two or three people who’s ever “garden sat” and watered Danger Garden and Felix very much enjoyed driving over with me on those warm summer evenings.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!

It’s an honor to participate in a giveaway for Fearless Gardening generously sponsored by Timber Press. One lucky reader will receive a copy of Loree’s book along with The Art of Gardening by R. William Thomas. (It’s one of the many great texts mentioned in Fearless Gardening.) This giveaway is open to residents with a valid United States mailing address and a winner will be announced here in 7 days on January 22, 2021. To enter, please leave a comment below telling us all about a plant, small garden, or plant person who inspires you. Give us the details!

I’d love to hear some stories.

And good luck!

Be Bold! Break the Rules! Grow What You Love!

Weekly Posts Coming in 2020

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Many working hours have passed since I regularly posted here on my blog. Folks sometimes ask about it, and while garden blogging has faded a bit, I’m not giving up. As a middle-aged woman who’s turned to horticulture later in life, in the years since I started this blog, I’ve become a professional horticulturist and I enjoy my career very much. It’s time for me to begin to regularly share some of the experiences that I’ve had with both the plants and people who mean a lot to me.

In the last year I’ve dealt with walking pneumonia, complications from walking pneumonia, entering into my third consecutive year of physical therapy for neuropathy, spinal, and hip issues from two falls, and the onset of additional autoimmune issues. I need to cut loose and have some fun online again. 🙂

My hope is to continue to inspire, entertain, and enlighten readers. No one in their right mind would be working in horticulture in my condition. It’s my passion though. It’s what I love—and folks are still willing to pay me to do what I do and to purchase what I grow. I entered into this world when I could barely move, let alone stand, and all I had was a new garden, a laptop, and some time to spare. It’s time to contribute more and give back. I think my employers also consider this “downtime” and they’d like me to do more of it.

So, expect weekly posts each Sunday in 2020!

And there will be houseplants… We know how much many of you love them too now. I know I sure do.

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Begonia dichroa in my collection.