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Gardening Advice from an Expert Cape Cod Gardener

“It’s not as breezy as the last two books (“The Cocktail Hour Garden” and “Coffee for Roses”),” Fornari says. “It’s a big color book. But it’s not an encyclopedia; it doesn’t include photos of every plant I recommend. People can page through it and get inspired by the photos of gardens on the Cape and Islands, or if they want to know how to treat grubs in the lawn they can use it that way as well.” In essence, it’s a combination of Fornari’s lifetime experience and knowledge of gardening in one volume. It’s the ultimate, must-have gardening book.

When Fornari moved to the Cape in 1993, she had no thought of writing books about gardening. “I never intended to be a writer or a garden professional,” Fornari says. “I was working as an artist since the early seventies. Sometimes life takes you down paths that you never intended to walk.” Fornari had been speaking and teaching about art, and after moving to the Cape, she went from giving local garden talks to becoming a national “garden communicator.” She began writing garden books, and in that time her goals again shifted. 

“I want to bring gardening into popular culture,” she says. “My big goal is to promote gardening to the next generation—to be part of a gardening revival in the United States. People have disconnected with plants, gardens and nature in general. It’s a real shame. And a little dangerous for all of us.”

Fornari grew up gardening like her mother and grandmother, but she feels as though times have changed. “If you look at old magazines, or newspapers, it was part of everybody’s experience,” she says. She hopes to encourage people to return to the plant world, even if it is the result of trendy house design, such as extending the indoors to the outdoors, or simply the hot topic of nutrition.

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