SG585: The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder with Marta McDowell

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The always fabulous Marta McDowell - the garden author from Chatham New Jersey and the author of All the President’s Gardens from Episode SG545 - is on the show today to talk about her latest book, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder; which tells the tale of the plants and places of the beloved author of the Little House series.

If you read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, then today’s show will be an extra special treat for you. In fact, my own well-worn paperbacks from the 1970’s are sitting happily on a shelf in our loft. My mom knew how special they were to me and hung on to them after I left home. Decades later, she brought them up to my house after we moved to lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota.

I must confess, chatting with Marta is extra special for me. In the first chapter of Marta’s book, there is a map showing all the places Laura Ingalls Wilder lived and my hometown, right in the heart of the prairie, is pretty much smack dab in the middle of that map. Growing up, Laura’s stories resonated with my midwestern vernacular and world view. 

One of the reasons so many of us have a soft spot in our heart for the Little House books is because Laura was so descriptive; she was a natural storyteller.  However, in retrospect, I think you may be surprised by the amount of material in Laura’s books devoted to the natural world - ma’s gardens, the landscapes Laura and her family experienced, and the reverence for  life - plants, animals, and human - all of it is so cherished by Laura and her loved ones.

Prepare to be amazed by the images you will recall; you’ll soon discover that there are passages from the book that are sewn into the heart of your childhood.  Listen to today’s show and I guarantee that you’ll enjoy a renewed appreciation for the lasting tribute Laura created when she wrote about the world of the pioneers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

Websites:

6ftmama.com

6ftmama.com/sg545/

Marta McDowell

Twitter:@martamcdowell

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Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
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