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Extended Audio Sample The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life Audiobook, by Margaret Roach Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (63 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Roach Narrator: Margaret Roach Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781469086095
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Margaret Roach has been harvesting thirty years of backyard parables-deceptively simple, instructive stories from a life spent digging ever deeper-and has distilled them in this memoir along with her best tips for garden making, discouraging all manner of animal and insect opponents, at-home pickling, and more.


After ruminating on the bigger picture in her memoir And I Shall Have Some Peace There, Margaret Roach has returned to the garden, insisting as ever that we must garden with both our head and heart, or as she expresses it, with "horticultural how-to and woo-woo." In THE BACKYARD PARABLES, Roach uses her fundamental understanding of the natural world, philosophy, and life to explore the ways that gardening saved and instructed her, and meditates on the science and spirituality of nature, reminding her readers and herself to keep on digging.
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Quotes & Awards

  • “I loved this book. Margaret Roach writes with intelligence, compassion, and—most of all—sanity. Her work is a blessing.”

    Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

  • As a passionate, hopeful and often self-delusional gardener (the only kind of gardener there is!), I loved this book. Margaret Roach writes with intelligence, compassion, and-most of all-sanity. Her work is a blessing. Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
  • As I read this witty, revealing, sometimes poetic confessional I felt I understood for the first time what a garden could be-a work of art, a source of pleasure and solace, an object of beauty, a provider of nourishment. And why Margaret calls the plot she tends 'my monster.' This is the story of a real relationship: Margaret and her garden, a love story. Anna Thomas, author of The Vegetarian Epicure and Love Soup
  • In matters of both earth and heart, Margaret Roach is fearless. She digs deep. What she finds, and what she offers in this lyrical memoir of a gardening year, is hard-won wisdom laced with humor, hands-on how-to delivered with a poet's touch, experience embraced with fervor, humility, and grace. Katrina Kenison, author of Magical Journey and The Gift of an Ordinary Day
  • On her knees in the garden, Margaret cultivates an intimate relationship with the Beloved, finding what the body, heart and soul may most desire. As Rumi says: "Why should we not play like that sometimes, having fun, exploring some nooks...in our own backyard. Daniel Ladinsky, bestselling Penguin poet-translator of Hafiz and Rumi
  • “In matters of both earth and heart, Margaret Roach is fearless. She digs deep. What she finds, and what she offers in this lyrical memoir of a gardening year, is hard-won wisdom laced with humor, hands-on how-to delivered with a poet’s touch, experience embraced with fervor, humility, and grace.”

    Katrina Kenison, author of Magical Journey and The Gift of an Ordinary Day 

  • “Witty, revealing, [and] poetic...This is the story of a real relationship: Margaret and her garden, a love story.”

    Anna Thomas, author of The Vegetarian Epicure and Love Soup

  • “An insightful guide and a fun read.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An enjoyable journey through the year with a knowledgeable guide whose fascination with her garden and its inhabitants will delight readers. Strongly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Margaret Roach’s The Backyard Parables is both a spiritual and scientific field guide for the modern gardener.”

    BookPage

  • “Roach scatters gardening tips throughout the book, noting that other books provide more along those lines but that these tips are shared in the interest of spurring on readers to return to their own gardens. Many a gardener will likely find that motivation from this pleasant book.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 10/15/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book - it got me through that last bit of winter when you long to get into the garden but the weather isn't yet cooperative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey Marien | 8/1/2013

    " This was a wonderful book. Laugh out loud in places - who thought woodchucks were funny. Just the right book to bring me out of the winter slumber "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Bergman | 7/15/2013

    " Wonderful book. Wonderful gardener. Visiting her garden and/or hearing her speak is on my bucket list! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberly Uhuru | 7/3/2013

    " This book got me out of my winter doldrums. It's not really a how-to book, rather it's more a collection of the author's musings on the garden as it relates to life in general. It will be appreciated by both die-hard gardeners and armchair philosophers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 5/14/2013

    " I love her blog...awaytogarden and I have read her previous books. Although I love her writing, I found this book a little disjointed and her prose hard to follow. Possibly the issue could be the editing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 5/13/2013

    " Musings from a lifelong gardener. Not for everyone, but for those who love the smell of a freshly dug bed, this is for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ShareaStart ShareaStart | 5/8/2013

    " Is there anything more calming that a well ordered life and a well ordered garden? "

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About the Author

Margaret Roach is the author of the memoir And I Shall Have Some Peace There. She has been an editor at the New York Times, fashion editor and garden editor at Newsday, the first garden editor for Martha Stewart Living magazine, and the editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She is now a consultant and avid gardener, keeping fans up to date on her website A Way to Garden, which Anne Raver of the New York Times called “the best garden blog” she’d seen. Margaret is also the author of A Way to Garden, named Best Garden Book of the Year by the Garden Writers’ Association of America.