Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

Patience is a heavy virtue // Book recommendation

” A good gardener works hard. A masterful gardener patient.”

This quote from the German poet and orchid breeder Mark Balkens-Knurre is very apt for us gardeners. However, patience is sometimes a grave virtue. This is especially true in winter, when you cannot go out into the garden as you would like. Short days, cold east winds, rain, sleet or even snow…. the weather palette holds a whole host of unpredictable gardening factors in store in winter. And if you then have to be patient by the middle of January with a new hip joint, as I did, the winter may be tough.

But winter is also a time of a break for the garden. The most important things are done: the lawn is leaf-free, water cranes and pumps are frost-proof. The borders with the winter bloomers will be cleaned in patience until the end of the year.

Otherwise it does not matter to the garden whether the perennials and grasses are cut now or in February / March. Insects and bird life are always happy when they find shelter and food in the borders. And the remaining skeletons of the plants don’t look that bad either.

So time to do “housework”:

• Planning for garden appointments and workshops
• Preparation of seminars and lectures
• Considerations for redesigning borders and areas
• Look through specialist literature

While looking through my overcrowded garden bookshelf, I came up with the idea to make some book recommendations here from time to time, as there are an abundance of books about gardening, but the layman does not always know exactly what to choose.
Two books – which I read with great pleasure in the hospital – I would like to recommend here today.

Ina Sperl: Green passions – 18 garden professionals looked into the border

( german title: Grüne Leidenschaften – 18 Gartenprofis ins Beet geschaut )

A wonderful book with portraits of people who work in the most diverse areas of the green industry – design, literature, research, trade, production… Every portrait is as different as the people who are lovingly and appropriately presented here in their own garden. You get a completely new insight into the complexity of the green world and learn a lot about people’s personal green preferences and views.
Published in 2015 by Ulmer Verlag



Karl Foerster – A biography by Antje Peters – Reimann

( german title: Karl Foerster – Eine Biografie )

I often find biographies tough and dry. In any case, the author succeeds in taking me on a journey through time. A very pleasant writing style coupled with a good structure (career, breeding, friends & colleagues, estate).

The Foerster quote “If I’m born again, I’ll be a gardener again – and next time I’ll be too. Because this job is too big for a single life. “Is firmly anchored in my head. It is so apt for anyone who has become infected with a love of gardening.
Where else would you not want to go to see gardens and parks? What innovations need to be developed and discovered?
Here again, patience is required …


In this sense, a contemplative 2nd Advent!

Uedemerbruch, Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Michael Bongers