A New Leaf

Growing with My Garden

Publisher: Anchor Canada
A graceful and sharply observed book of inspiration that uses the garden as its central muse

A New Leaf traces a year of growing seasons at The Leaf, Merilyn Simonds' acreage in eastern Ontario. A lifelong gardener, Simonds works the soil and the soul for wide-ranging revelations about everything from flowers that keep time, to the strange gift of compost, to great gardens of the world, to things lost and found underground.

She is joined on her journey by a host of companions — including her Beloved, who tills by her side; the Rosarian, who tends to both bud and thorn in roses and life; and the Frisarian, who weeds unwelcome visitors to make room for new growth. Intelligent and intimate, irreverent and elegant, A New Leaf offers a cornucopia of enrichment and inspiration for the fertile mind.

From the Hardcover edition.



All winter the garden was like a closed-up resort, rooms echoing and vacant, white fabric draped over the furnishings. Now the sheets have been yanked off—the snow melted that fast—and already the regulars are coming back.

The crows arrive first. They come as a couple, though they...
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“Simonds writes of her soul-feeding experiences across an entire gardening year, from clean-up through harvest. It doesn’t take long for the book’s hard, black lines of type to  disappear, and for the reader to be spellbound, completely submerged in Simonds’ special world..... There are no rigidly straight lines in her garden, but rather glorious clouds of shape and colour. We see this because Simonds has mastered the art of seeing what she is looking at, and because she has the skill with words to share that vision with us.....”
The Globe and Mail

"Vibrant, exuberant."
—More Magazine

“A delightful tour of the garden..... The freshness of Simonds’ writing, the good humour and quiet authority it conveys, make something new of it all.”
— The Gazette (Montreal)

“Two green thumbs up for Merilyn Simonds. This shining book, sparked by her garden blogs on everything from bugs to peas to survivor elms, evolves as a gardener does, from hope to realism and back to hope. Simonds reminds us that our contact with each garden bed (she has twenty-six, one for each letter of the alphabet!) lets us touch yet another aspect of our selves. A New Leaf is a by-your-bedside companion, composed to seed our dreams.” 
— Molly Peacock, author of The Paper Garden
“Like stories passed friend to friend, these wise, funny, colourful pieces enrich our understanding of plants, landscapes and life. A book to grow by, and share.” 
— Sarah Harmer
“I certify Merilyn Simonds the Saint of Frugal Gardening, for her amazing and helpful skills with plants, other edibles, and people too.” 
— from The Year of the Flood, God’s Gardener Scroll, awarded by Margaret Atwood
“A wonderful read.... Merilyn shows us how she, and all who put their hands in the soil, grow with our gardens.” 
— Ed Lawrence, horticultural specialist and gardening expert on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today

“Delightful, funny, wise…. In the tradition of the best gardening books, Merilyn Simonds’ A New Leaf inspires both experienced gardeners and those just beginning.” 
— Beth Powning, author of The Sea Captain’s Wife

From the Hardcover edition.