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My Natural History

The Evolution of a Gardener

Regular price $28.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553653769
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Liz Primeau, Nature & Environment,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 8/20/2008
  • 240 Pages

An enchanting memoir from the founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine.

Liz Primeau has been gardening for nearly fifty years. In her twenties, as a mother of four small children, she would often escape to her tomato patch for horticultural therapy. Gardening became a satisfying hobby that grew and eventually became a career when she became the founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine in 1990.

In league with Michael Pollan's Second Nature, My Natural History describes how gardening has been Primeau's therapy, obsession, and reward. Primeau first caught the gardening bug growing up in Winnipeg, when she and her mother used to steal green onions from her father's vegetable patch for a late-night snack. Later, her Uncle Ren, famous for his prize-winning flowers, became her gardening mentor. Since then, Primeau's own gardens have protected and sustained her. Full of fascinating gardening lore and practical insight (including what to do when your son grows funny tomatoes among your seedlings), this wonderful memoir will be savored by readers who share Primeau's passion for the earth and all the good things that stem from it.

Liz Primeau is the author of numerous books on gardening, including My Natural History and the bestselling Front Yard Gardens. She is also the founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine and the former host of Canadian Gardening Television on HGTV. She frequently gives talks at horticultural society meetings and garden shows across Canada and the United States. She lives in Mississauga, Ontario.


"A funny, thoughtful, poignant memoir of a lifetime of gardening. It comes with dollops of useful but not intrusive advice. Read through the winter and you'll be itching for spring and gardening season." -Hamilton Spectator

"My Natural History . . . is a cracking good read." -Canadian Gardening

"Primeau shares her joy of gardening in an appealing literary style that certainly captures the reader's attention." -Chicago Botanic Gardens

"A delightful Canadian memoir to curl up with on a cold night. If, like me, you enjoy reading about other gardeners' adventures, Primeau is perfect fare - light and entertaining, with some useful tips to throw in." -Toronto Star

"Also rewarding for pleasurable perusing is My Natural History, by Liz Primeau, a memoir covering nearly 50 years of adventurous gardening by Canada's 'celebrity gardener' and a mix of much useful information with joyous insights and lore." -The Avant Gardener

"For the readerly gardener there is Liz Primeau's My Natural History. The former editor of Canadian Gardening magazine's memoir is a delicious and intimate look at her life in the garden." -National Post

"Gardens, as she observes in My Natural History . . . have cooled and protected us and given us succor through the centuries; they have provided creative satisfaction and, when we need it, therapy . . . To Primeau, gardening is an important social necessity - one which, in many ways, defines her." -Times Colonist

"My Natural History is a forthright and simple account of a nice lady who has spent her life tilling the soil north of the 49th Parallel. Along the way, she has also dug up personal salvation, and a career . . . My Natural History is seeded with many helpful tips, such as when to harvest haricot verts and how to cook fava beans. Primeau also gives a thumbnail history of domestic agriculture and an extensive tour of Medieval and Renaissance Italian gardens." -Los Angeles Times

"Perfect reading for a wintry afternoon." -Cottage Gardener

"The eagerly awaited new book from Liz Primeau, one of Canada's most beloved garden personalities . . . [is] more than just a simple garden memoir. It's is packed with fascinating gardening lore and practical insights that will amuse and inspire gardeners of all ages and skill levels." -East Coast Gardener

"The story of [Primeau's] continuing life journey is interwoven with the gardens she grows, each one a reflection of her evolution as a gardener. Along the way, she slips in historic garden vignettes, advice from world famous gardeners and a little garden wisdom of her own. She concludes by outlining the six stages in the evolutionary life of a gardener, starting with the early yearning for blossoms, the bigger the better, and soon replaced with quieter, more appreciative phases." -Winnipeg Free Press