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Last fall, as I was clearing my garden of all the free soil conditioner/compost/mulch (leaves) a neighbor stopped by and admired my  handy-work.  He also shared with me that as he started aging and all the mundane gardening activities started taking their toll, he just stopped gardenng.  That saddened me immensely.  While we are all aging, that does not mean that we must sacrifice such a joyful activity like gardening.  Gardening feeds the soul, enlightens the senses, invites us to sometimes touch, gives us reason to pause and admire the beauty that surrounds us.

Ironically within a few days, a book was featured online , STAND UP AND GARDEN by Mary Moss-Sprague.  I knew that I had to have this book….in case my aches and pains deterred me from gardening.  Highly unlikely, but I thought I should be prepared for the ‘just in case’. When those little age gnomes start hanging out with me in my lower back, my knees or standing up seems to be a bit of a challenge after a day in the garden, long soaks in the bath are all I need…..right now.  So I bought the book in hopes of learning something new.

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Mary Moss-Sprague is a Retired but still active Bee keeper of 20+ years, Master Gardener, as well as a Master Food Preserver.  I thought – she most likely has to garden smart so that she can write, offer garden tours, public speaking engagements, in addition to giving demonstrations about her technique. Her home has even been featured in the tour of homes in Wayne County, NY. Having a book from a woman who respects the earth as much as I do, I needed to  hear her words on how I can have a beautiful yard without digging, tilling and no stooping.

Mary takes us on journey explaining weed block, containers, vertical growing (or growing upwards) and then her secret – gardening in raised beds using a whole lot of straw, securely contained and installing drip irrigation for thorough watering.  Building these super raised beds, filling them with straw, a touch of soil and watching them just grow with a vengeance makes gardening a pleasure and not an achy experience.  The suggested way to ensure proper watering is via micro drip irrigation and Mary gives a great tutorial of how to build and install this micro drip irrigation method. I really liked this micro drip method of watering – saves time and energy as well.

Mary Moss – Sprague also shares ideas that she feels are great from other folks who garden.  The gardening community surely shares ideas good and bad, but all worth thinking about. For the beginning gardener or someone who started gardening later in life, this is a great read.  Seasoned gardeners might find a few pointers as well.  It surely simplifies the art of raised bed gardening.

Stand Up and Garden by …….easy to read, comprehend and a great idea to enjoy!

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