To Garden Or Not To Garden

I am a non-gardening gardener. I helped as a child in my grandparents’ garden. I love the concept and idea of family gardens. I think gardens and growing your own food is important on many levels. However, partly by lifestyle and partly by personality, I do not seem to be very good at growing plants. I think that having all the care communication be one-sided is my biggest challenge. Unlike with kids or pets, I have to go to the plant, I have to “guess” the needs of the plants, I have to know the future needs of the plants, and then I have to wait and go back and see if I got it right at all. Kids and pets are way easier and you know instantly if you got it right.


In spite of my less than green thumb, gardening is always something that appeals to me and is on my wish list of things I would love to have, especially if I put down some roots. Thus, I do have an interest in learning about how to garden and different methods and techniques. The best ones are the ones that imply success for someone like me too. Additionally, I like for anything that I do to be in balance with nature as much as possible. I am big on living a balanced life with the world and nature. That is why I was very interested in reading Darryl Whitham’s Secrets of Mound Gardening.

Now that I have; what do I have to say about it?

Well, a few things actually, some good and some suggestions as well.

First, it is an easy read. Whitham uses plain language so that even the gardener wanna be, with no previous knowledge, can understand the concepts and techniques shared.


Second, it is very clear that Whitham is passionate about gardening and also passionate about sharing his passion with others. Not only does he tell you as much, it shows in his writing style.


Third, Whitham has done his research and is knowledgeable about the topic. He presents the reader with several different styles of mounds and gives information about their how’s and why’s to help the reader understand which choice might be best or better for them.

Additionally, he supplies the reader with local resources that might be available to them so they are not going it alone.

With all those good things you might wonder what suggestions I could possibly have. Well, I do have a few…

It would have been very helpful and useful for the most novice of us to have seen visuals of some of the planting designs that he was talking about.

It would have been nice if each chapter on a mound type had some visuals of maybe options for placement or planting examples if your mound is north south or east west oriented.


It would have been nice if he maybe included an example of how to plan your garden or mounds and an example or two of planted mounds and ‘resting’ or ‘wintering’ mounds so that true beginners knew what they were suppose to see in their own yards.

The information provided in the book was interesting and useful, but I do really feel like the book gave me more questions than answers and I am left now to figure it all out. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the book isn’t a good starting point and others might find it more directional than I did. I am also not saying that it is lacking in its written content, just that I think more visuals would have solidified understanding the concept more for all readers.

As a final note, I would suggest that if you are going to invest in this book that you opt for a printed version, if one is available. Some books work great in e-form and others not so much, this is one that I feel would benefit the reader more if they could flip back and forth easily between pages to compare options.

*** Book Cover via Amazon.com product page.