December 4, 2023

A Work of Beauty and Grace: Linda Vater’s ‘The Elegant & Edible Garden’ | Community

Linda Vater is perhaps the best-known contemporary gardener in Oklahoma City. Her front-yard in the…

Linda Vater is perhaps the best-known contemporary gardener in Oklahoma City. Her front-yard in the Crown Heights neighborhood is continuously evolving joy to behold, from day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year.


Vater never grows weary of discussing the secrets of garden beauty, simple landscaping and gardening discipline born from a life-long love for the earth and its seeded fruits. One distinguishing feature of her craft is that Vater is unafraid of worthy experiments, testing new ways to bring forth beauty in a cascading series of memorable combinations.


In writing ‘The Elegant and Edible Garden‘, Linda Vater meets the amateur home gardener or professional horticulturalist where she or he is — without pretension or artifice.


She elevates food gardening, as her publisher puts it, “into a form of living art. Partnering edible plants with ornamental ones using symmetry, rhythm, and repetition creates a garden that is nothign short of extraordinary.”


Corrina Murray, director of marketing for the Southern Living plant collection, reflects, “Linda demonstrates that our garden dreams are within reach. We can have a landscape unique our own, growing joy as eich and flavorful as the plants we coax from the soil.”


The book — available world-wide — was released in March. Promotional efforts are in full sprint after the July 23 book signing event she hosted at Full Circle Book Store in Oklahoma City.


Concerning Linda and her book, Full Circle Book posted an enthusiastic summary of the new work:

“Stylish and informative, this book elevates food growing to a higher plane. Blogger and garden stylist Linda Vater shares her vision for creating a garden space where food and flowers grow side by side.


“Inside you’ll learn the art of the potager garden, from managing its edible yield to arranging plants not unlike how an artist might plan a painting. Aesthetic concepts such as symmetry, rhythm, and harmony are explained alongside practical tips that pertain to potting and staying organic. The result is an accessible guide to creating a garden that is practical and stylish.


“Linda is a self-taught garden designer, blogger, and influencer who also writes and produces garden media for TV, magazines, Instagram, and YouTube.


“She has lived and gardened at her 1935 English Tudor home in Oklahoma City for 30 years. Her garden has been featured in numerous national and local magazines and is frequently toured.”


In a March review, Publisher’s Weekly was enthusiastic:


‘Even without great expertise, deep pockets, or a makeover television crew, you too can create a garden that appeals to all your senses,’ promises garden stylist Vater in her gorgeous debut. A self-taught vegetable and fruit gardener, Vater writes that her goal is to ‘flatten the learning curve for designing a beautiful, edible garden,’ and, accordingly, her to-the-point advice is to ‘just begin.’


“Her tips aren’t about soil pH or double-digging—instead, she touts the ‘romance’ of a garden by combining edibles and ornamentals, and lays out her philosophy in three parts.


“‘Aspiration’ covers beauty and style and encourages readers to find a ‘dream garden’ to emulate, then work to make it their own with changes and omissions; ‘inspiration’ considers design and organization, and outlines such principles as color, framing, and structure; and ‘motivation’ looks at the power of stewardship (“’take ownership of caring for the garden you tend by learning, watching, listening, and enjoying’) and Earth-friendly gardening (‘Be water wise’), and celebrates growing as a “linchpin” of life.


“The author’s appreciation for her craft is infectious, and her writing is as delectable as the full-color photos. Gardening newbies will appreciate Vater’s cool counsel.”


The book is beguiling and engaging from the first moment, with beautiful photography and useful illustrations throughout.


Vater writes in the preface: “My garden passion started with a pumpkin (Cucurbita) seed.” She found a “volunteer” vine while playing hide and seek, discovering “the object of my new obsession – a massive, sticky vine with huge leaves growing on a thick, winding stem.” The plant was hidden behind a holly hedge “next to the front porch of our suburban home in Tennessee.”


Linda Vater’s book information: “The Elegant & Edible Garden: Design a Dream Kitchen Garden to Fit Your Personality, Desires and Lifestyles,” Beverly Massachusetts: Cool Springs Press, 2022. 208 pages in hardcover, with an index, and listings of seed sources and other essentials. $30 U.S., £22 U.K., $39 Canada, For information: Visit ISBN 978-0-7603-7237-1