Garden Forever
Diary of a Mad Gardener

by David Hobson

Flip Publishing,Waterloo, Ontario, 210 pages paperback
Reviewed by Beverley Mitchell

Dibble, the Mad Gardener, is a crazed, obsessed and passionate gardener. His diary is filled with his day to day misadventures similar to what ordinary gardeners experience but on a much crazier level.

This book is definitely not your usual serious how-to gardening book. Dibble bumbles along growing seedlings, visiting a big garden show, constantly fussing about the weather, battling and competing with his neighbour, Shirl. He'll try anything but he's cheap and sneaky and more than a little demented. His philosophy is "to boldly grow where no one has groan before."

His battle with will power is a common one for all gardeners who are drawn to the local nursery for the latest and greatest botanical offerings.

"This is crazy. I'm rapidly running out of planting space, but I keep bringing more and more stuff home. I know my problem is due to a total lack of planning, yet I can't seem to do anything about it. I try, but I get overwhelmed with the number and variety of plants that are available, and now they're piling up on trays on the patio....

I use any excuse. I tell myself that I'm only browsing, or I go with the intention of picking up a couple of things I need to complete a planter, and before I know it I've filled half a flat with annuals. Then, since I'm such an astute consumer and know that a full flat is discounted, I go ahead and fill it, often with things I have sitting at home waiting to be planted." (78)

You'll laugh at him but surely there is a little of Dibble in all of us.

Dibble also offers up lots of gardening tips and information in his hilarious accounts of life in the garden.

Laughter has long been known to help us heal and feel good. Horticultural therapists promote the benefits of gardening, bringing one closer to nature with its soothing, healing effect. The Diary of a Mad Gardener will make you grin, chuckle and guffaw. It will also relax and refresh the most serious of gardeners.

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