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Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden [Kindle Edition]

Kathryn Hall
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £7.46 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Over the years through the contemplative practice of daily early morning gardening, internationally popular gardening blogger Kathryn Hall has garnered 52 succinct and powerful metaphors or life lessons. She then illustrates each with timeless heartwarming stories from her own life, sure to capture the reader's imagination.

Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden is built upon such life lessons as:

*Clean up after a storm.
*Feel not obliged to make good use of every ripe fruit on the vine.
*Fiercely guard the seedlings.
*Judge not the flower by its bud.
*Resist the temptation to plant more than you can care for.
*Gently guide the tender vine else it become wild, tangled and impossible.
*Move gently among bees.

Early praise for Plant Whatever Brings You Joy:

"Plant Whatever Brings You Joy is an invaluable resource for understanding 'the garden' as a source of healing, growth, solace, joy, wisdom and understanding. This is a spiritually uplifting and wise book!" --Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist, author of The Four Fold Way and The Second Half of Life

"...as luscious as a peony in full bloom. Thank you for walking me in the garden of your heart." --Dawna Markova, Ph.D., author of I Will Not Die an Unlived Life and co-author of Random Acts of Kindness

"I loved it! It is ostensibly a book about Kathryn's life...her life in different countries and in different parts of America, her beloved daughter and her many gardens--yet it is so much more than this and touches the heart (my heart anyway) because of it." --The Nutty Gnome, blog, UK

"Simple and profound, it will help awaken your own graceful flowering!" --Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing and The Last Ghost Dance

"It is a testament to the skillful writing style, seemingly so easy and natural, and life affirming lessons to be considered that your readers will make this book their own; it is just that kind of book: a book to treasure." --Philip Bewley, Philip's Garden Blog

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 363 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Estrella Catarina (22 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003X4KWEY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #941,894 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kathryn Hall is an internationally known book publicist, who has spent the major part of over three decades promoting books designed to make a difference, expressed in her popular tagline, "Changing the world one book at a time."

Kathryn is also the author of the book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden (Estrella Catarina, 2010), a popular gardening blogger (Plant Whatever Brings You Joy), a passionate gardener, a devoted mother, a keen Nature observer and an animal lover. She was the contributing health writer for The Financial Times Guide to Business Travel (Financial Times/Prentice Hall, London). Her articles have appeared in Science of Mind magazine, Ode Magazine (Netherlands), Personal Excellence, Bird Watcher's Digest, the San Francisco Business Times, Journal for Quality and Participation, Western North Carolina Woman, Training and Development Journal and Garden Writer Association's Quill and Trowel.

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Liz
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved it!
It is ostensibly a book about Kathryn's life, her multiple house moves, her life in different countries and in different part of America, her beloved daughter and her many gardens - yet it is so much more than this and touches the heart (my heart anyway) because of it.

The book is divided into 52 chapters of varying lengths, all having very temping titles such as 'Aim for beauty','Appreciate small returns','Clean up after a storm' and - my favourite title, 'Move gently among bees'. The titles intrigued me and pulled me in.
I planned to read it in one go - manageable at 228 pages, but it didn't work out like that.Kathryn's memories and experiences are rich and fascinating, but they also deliver clever but gentle metaphors for self discovery and learning - both hers and her readers.

She has a canny nack of making her last sentence in the chapter either a statement or a question, both of which seemed designed to make me go "oh, what? yeah! I do that!", " Ooops, perhaps I could have done that differently?" or "Hmmm, maybe I ought......!", but always making me stop and think. Hence the reason I couldn't read the book all in one sitting, no matter how much I wanted to, as I just had to have some thinking time.
She writes in such a way that I found myself smiling, nodding and even, on more than one occasion, my eyes filling with unshed tears - from both pleasure and sadness previously held in. Memories of people, places and events long forgotten or sometimes supressed came unbidden into my head as I read.
This is a thought provoking book that stands repeated readings - and I will certainly be dipping back into it on a regular basis. Her motto for her book publishing company is 'Changing the world one book at a time' and she has certainly done that for me with this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Planting, pulling weeds, pruning or trimming branches. To a non-gardener like me, all these sound like the names of tortures rather than the simple joys of gardening. Or take for that matter the names of plants. Visteria, Honey-suckle, Jasmine. Don't you just think they take on the names of strange little gods? Gardening is surely not my cup of tea.
So when my friend gave me "Plant whatever brings you joy" by Kathryn Hall, I was terrified. The titles of the chapter confirmed my fear. "Harvest seeds for the future gardens' or "Test and amend your soil". Oops. But I decided to give the book a chance and started reading it. And very soon I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!! It turned out that the book in fact it is about everything but gardening. It is simply a wonderful collection of true stories that happened to the author. One of my favorite is about rattlesnakes. The brave author learned to - let's put it mildly - cope with them. And evolved from fearing them to handling them like a circus artist would handle a whip. That's how she impressed the new neighbors. No wonder. Then there is a story of how she tamed a Siamese kitten. It is endearing. And very sad one of how she lost another cat because she had no fence... In fact, I can't really say which story I loved most. I would have to say all fifty two. Because they are not only a slice of life written in a gripping way. At the end of each story there is a gem. Some simple truth about life, however trivial it may sound. So after you read the whole book you are enriched with 52 great life guidance statements. They just remind us about all those things which are good in life and which we often forget or neglect. "Share generously your bounty", the author says. Well, I am very grateful to her, she did so with hers. Thank you Kathryn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed wisdom from the garden 26 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This garden book doesn't seem to be big, just 228 pages. But if you read it, impression is changing - the book grows much, much bigger. "Blessed wisdom from the garden" becomes heartwarming book of treasure.

Cover design fits perfectly the nature of the 52 short stories embracing the garden and life, written in unique style. When I read a book or Kathryn's blog I am always astonished with her easy, natural and skillful writing style. I bet, that use of words will also surprise you!

When I read it, I wanted to enjoy every page, every story as long as possible, because I had a feeling that a close friend is sharing life wisdom and whispering life affirmations to my ear. This garden book is not only filled with entertaining backyard stories, it brings also intense spiritual beauty - these stories teach and nourish soul and spirit.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardening wisdom from the universe 17 Oct. 2010
By EwaInTheGarden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This garden book doesn't seem to be big, just 228 pages. But if you read it, impression is changing - the book grows much, much bigger. "Blessed wisdom from the garden" becomes heartwarming book of treasure.

Cover design fits perfectly the nature of the 52 short stories embracing the garden and life, written in unique style. When I read a book or Kathryn's blog I am always astonished with her easy, natural and skillful writing style. I bet, that use of words will also surprise you!

When I read it, I wanted to enjoy every page, every story as long as possible, because I had a feeling that a close friend is sharing life wisdom and whispering life affirmations to my ear. This garden book is not only filled with entertaining backyard stories, it brings also intense spiritual beauty - these stories teach and nourish soul and spirit.

Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joy To Read 26 July 2010
By Joanna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I LOVE THIS BOOK! And, I cannot wait to share it with everyone I know. I so admire this author's zest for life and living and her strong desire to learn about and experience so many things. Her stories and the wisdom they impart are truly inspirational. Her writing immediately invites you in and keeps you wanting more. And, once you have read these stories, you are all the more the richer for it. It is like sipping a cup of tea from a fine china cup while sitting with a dear friend as she shares from her heart the stories of her life. Enchanting, lovely and moving.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful gift of a book 12 Dec. 2013
By Liz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved it!
It is ostensibly a book about Kathryn's life, her multiple house moves, her life in different countries and in different part of America, her beloved daughter and her many gardens - yet it is so much more than this and touches the heart (my heart anyway) because of it.

The book is divided into 52 chapters of varying lengths, all having very temping titles such as 'Aim for beauty','Appreciate small returns','Clean up after a storm' and - my favourite title, 'Move gently among bees'. The titles intrigued me and pulled me in.
I planned to read it in one go - manageable at 228 pages, but it didn't work out like that.Kathryn's memories and experiences are rich and fascinating, but they also deliver clever but gentle metaphors for self discovery and learning - both hers and her readers.

She has a canny nack of making her last sentence in the chapter either a statement or a question, both of which seemed designed to make me go "oh, what? yeah! I do that!", " Ooops, perhaps I could have done that differently?" or "Hmmm, maybe I ought......!", but always making me stop and think. Hence the reason I couldn't read the book all in one sitting, no matter how much I wanted to, as I just had to have some thinking time.
She writes in such a way that I found myself smiling, nodding and even, on more than one occasion, my eyes filling with unshed tears - from both pleasure and sadness previously held in. Memories of people, places and events long forgotten or sometimes supressed came unbidden into my head as I read.
This is a thought provoking book that stands repeated readings - and I will certainly be dipping back into it on a regular basis. Her motto for her book publishing company is 'Changing the world one book at a time' and she has certainly done that for me with this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A meaty read! 12 Dec. 2013
By Allyson Szabo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While this book is easy to read, with personal stories and anecdotes, it takes a long time to digest. Each of the 52 chapters contains a short story and a bit of insight from the author's life, paired with garden practices. It is the type of book which lends itself to bathtub reading and late night sifting for gems of wisdom.

An example that truly touched me was in Chapter 39: Test and amend your soil. Ms. Hall says, "Yet how aware are we of our core beliefs and the very thoughts we feed ourselves on a daily basis that are determining the culture in which we live and grow?" This is one of those statements which is so true that it almost slaps you in the face. Our culture, our religion, our faith communities, our families all help amend the soil in which our soul grows. Ms. Hall asks us to take the time to evaluate just what we're putting into that metaphorical soil, and to use that knowledge to help determine whether we need to add more to it or if we're over-doing it.

Plant Whatever Brings You Joy is a meaty book, one that asks you to evaluate yourself over and over again. In a later chapter, Trim unwieldy branches, the reader is asked to examine her life and wonder where all the time and energy goes. Ms. Hall points out that the myriad of undone things each day saps our energy and steals our time from us. By putting ourselves in order, like trimming the unneeded branches from a sprawling tree or grape arbor, we make more time. There is less confusion, more understanding of where our energies need to be flowing. There are less dead ends, so to speak.

Each life lesson is matched to a gardening metaphor which helps highlight the important parts and illustrate what needs to be done. Whether she's raving over her gardeners and the lessons she learned from them, or laughing with you about the number of birds she ended up owning at one point in her life, Ms. Hall brings a comfortable humor to the situation. When she likens problems to weeds or blessings to fruits from the cultivated portions of the garden, she gives the reader something to grasp, to hold onto while trying to understand some very deep issues.

Ms. Hall's book is truly fascinating. It keeps the reader engaged, and leaves you with a string of deep thoughts to mull over late at night. Being able to turn to the garden for spiritual ideas is a great thing, and Kathryn Hall does an excellent job in drawing it out clearly for everyone. I'm so glad I was able to purchase it, read it, and enjoy it. As a minister, I fully intend to use some of the wisdom gems within for sermon seeds!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Observations about Life Gathered from the Garden 19 Nov. 2013
By Mary Jasch, author - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is not a “how-to” gardening book but, rather, a book of observations about life gathered from the garden. Skeptical at first, I was stunned to discover Hall’s lessons learned in the garden echo my own thoughts. It was startling, as if our minds are of one. I imagine it will seem so for most readers who put their hands in the soil or tromp through the woods.

Plant Whatever Brings You Joy has 258 pages with 52 chapters. Hall skillfully writes with the style of ladies who lunch. Her writing is a joy to read: elegant, fun, and definitely unique. Each short chapter contains a vignette of Hall tending the garden or other adventure: giving birth in Mexico City, gardening in Holland with her daughter, gardening on the edge of woodland in northern California and North Carolina or tangling with critters wild and tame. She adds a lesson learned, tells how it applies to her life through personal story, offers wisdom and sometimes step-by-step advice, and gives the reader homework by ending with a question. No wasted words here.

In “Gently Guide the Tender Vine Lest It Become Wild, Tangled and Impossible,” Hall compares curbing wanton vines with redirecting and untangling the messes, physical or otherwise, one encounters in life. She describes sure-fire ways to assess a situation and asks, “What are the wild, tangled and impossible tasks and challenges in your life? What do you need to do to resolve them?” Her sincerity and comforting style makes you want to honestly think and answer.

Hall began developing her awareness of self in nature while growing up in two households among the orange groves of Southern California and, later, while experiencing the gardens and ideas of different cultures by living a nomadic life. She avoids “staying in the box.”

“I think there’s a distinct advantage of being exposed to change and difference from the outset and a price to pay for just accepting the status quo and living a 'normal life' and not exploring. People in America are at a disadvantage because you have to really stretch yourself to be exposed to other cultures,” she says.

Hall looks at being aware of her emotions and thoughts as a discipline. “I try to get people to think of their thoughts as the ‘crawl at the bottom of CNN.’ People just let their thoughts run wild and don’t even know.” These things, she thinks, allows receptivity of the larger flow of thoughts from the garden and nature to other areas of one’s life.

In “When Pulling Up Weeds Get the Root,” she decries the fast fix of popping pills for every ailment large or small instead of getting to the bottom of things. Again, facing the truth, drumming up courage and moving forward. Would not we all remove the roots of distress in our own gardens?

A Few Hall-isms:
-Ask yourself: How awake are you?
-What do you have to do to wake yourself up?
-If you’re going with the flow, then you haven’t done anything to wake yourself up.
-Pay attention.
-Look everything up.
-Develop your curiosity. Try new things and experiment.
-In the garden you feel you’re part of nature to some extent but you have to delve.
-The only way to know a plant is to work with it. </div>

Buy this book now. It’s a great read to finish just in time to make your New Year’s resolutions and a great holiday gift.
Mary Jasch, DIG IT! Magazine
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