Monday, October 8, 2012

Back to the Land - inspiration in book form

I went to out-of-the-way petrol stations, bought my groceries at expensive supermarkets, and always, always kept my blue and white card at the front of my wallet. I was a girl on a mission, lured by the idea of free stuff. Feeling the constraints of parenting on a single income, I was determined to get - no, I was single-mindedly focused on getting - enough Fly Buy points to order a treat.

And, when Fly Buys finally wrote to say I could go shopping on their website, it didn't take me long to decide what I wanted to spend my hard-earned points on.

Lynda Hallinan had just taken the helm at NZ Gardener magazine, and she'd given it quite a makeover. With its new layout, fresh, stylish photography, and inspiring articles, NZ Gardener was the mag of the moment. So, I spent my points, and that year I took my first real foray into gardening.

Quite a few years later, with a few years of gardening under my belt, I still enjoy Lynda Hallinan's writing, and her infectious enthusiasm for all things gardening.

Her new book Back to the Land - A Year of Country Gardening is filled with beautiful images of her first year living in the country again, after many years of city living. Apart from a brief history of her family's ties to the land, the book chronicles her year in the garden, and as well as anecdotes and reflections on farm life, it includes recipes, gardening tips and useful information on her favourite plant varieties.

Back to the Land is more than just a book about living in the country (though, there's no denying it might just rekindle your long-held dream to up stakes and find your own little plot), it's also an ode to the simple life, and a nice reminder that sometimes to experiences life's greatest riches, all you need is a desire to get your hands dirty.

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