For decades, I have been in love with gardening . There is a tranquil feeling walking out to the backyard and picking fresh vegetables for a salad or cooked in a wok, frying pan, slow cooker, a pot, or in the oven.

Sitting outside,  watching the garden, eating a vine ripe tomato, fresh cucumber, bell pepper, a couple of pulled scallions, topped with oregano, blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar is pure joy.

I really got into fresh fruits and vegetables at age sixteen, when on Thursdays and Fridays after school, I used to go to the farms in Southeast Florida (during the growing season-winter time) and pick vegetables, load up my van and during the weekends, sell it all at one of the largest flea markets ( swap meet) in the world. I would cut a few tomatoes I picked, into sample pieces, attach to toothpicks,  put salt on top, and hand out samples to passing visitors at the market. Business was booming! I soon expanded into fresh Florida oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. I would also go early morning (around 4 a.m.) to the Miami wholesale market and buy cases of fresh fruit that was shipped in from California. Wow, I was totally in love with those peaches, plums, and nectarines purchased while walking the large coolers.

Fast forward, after college, I started vegetable gardening and then about fifteen years ago fell hard for collecting and growing exotic tropical plants.  I also designed the garden after reading and collecting books on Zen Japanese and Chinese garden design. My trips to Asia also greatly influenced my gardening. I especially enjoyed visiting the Japanese Zen temples and Gardens in Kyoto, Japan.

In conclusion, the garden book reviews will include: vegetable gardening, growing and collecting tropical plants, study and design of Zen gardens, as well as general garden design.



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