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by Monica Brandies

 

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Visit Spring in the North by CD


This CD can give you a garden without any work.

One day during the summer from hell that followed our move to Florida in 1987, the mailman brought me a little booklet entitled, A Cutting Garden for Florida, by Betty Barr Mackey. I had seen her name on magazine articles, but I did not know her at all.

A letter explained that she had just moved north to Pennsylvania from near Orlando. An editor for whom we both worked mentioned my move and Betty thought her booklet might help me learn to garden in Florida a little faster.

It did. Oh, how it did. We soon talked on the phone. We didn't actually meet until after the second edition of the Cutting Garden, which I co-authored with her, came out, but we have been fast friends ever since. She became the publisher of three more of my books. The rest of this story is a chapter in my only non-garden book, Bless You for the Gifts.

With two sons who are computer wizards and a bent that way herself, this lady has always been eons ahead of most of us on using technology. So I was only mildly surprised when she told me about her new CD, Moments in the Garden. She sent me a copy. I thanked her and said it was fabulous.

I hadn't had time to look at it yet, but I was sure it would be at least fabulous.

Then I put it on. I am not a person to sit and watch the computer screen beyond what is necessary for my work, but Wow! Watching this is like a trip to the best days of spring in the north and to a whole bunch of public gardens I may never get to see--all without having to travel.

I am overwhelmed by how wonderful it is. The photography is amazing, the photos are at least as good as in Better Homes and Gardens Books. You can almost smell the peonies and feel the long awaited spring breeze among the azaleas under the crabapple tree in full bloom. Some of the photos are of her own garden, which I have visited.

One section of the CD has a "Garden Joys" screen saver which is an ".scr" file. This will give us ever changing garden scenes photographed by Betty Mackey and family.


White peonies:
You can almost smell the peonies.

Still more-- the CD includes six printable floral notecard PDF files. Print them in color whenever you want a card! There are instructions on how to use these.

The main features of the CD are "Moments in the Garden.exe," a six minute show of lovely garden photographs. This section is accompanied by original synthesizer music called "Space Opera" by Alan Mackey, from his disk, "Patchwerk," which is sold on Amazon.com.

This is the first album from former video game musician and Internet artist Al Mackey, which covers a wide range of musical styles. It also includes two tracks made in collaboration with French band Force Majeure.

Then there is a 16-minute captioned show, "Container Gardening", that gives ideas, examples, and tips for creating great gardens in all kinds of containers. It has 160 photos and text slides, no music. It is based on Betty Mackey's container garden talk for garden clubs.

All of this costs only $10, tax and shipping included to USA addresses beyond Pennsylvania, where the Mackeys now live close to all the great gardens like the fairly new Chanticleer in Wayne and the long established Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.

You can order with a credit card from her website: www.mackeybooks.com, or send a check to B.B. Mackey Books, Box 475, Wayne, PA 19087. The CD is for Windows (PC) computers. If you have questions or want an organization discount for a large number, you can call Betty Mackey at 610-971-9409 or email her at bbmackey@prodigy.net.

There are also many photos on the CD that feature tropical plants as well as the ones we miss from back home. Betty has not lost her Florida connections and has visited both myself and her late grandmother often. One great day we met at Cypress Gardens when Joe Freeman was still there and came in especially to show us around. Photos of Betty Mackey have appeared in my columns on occasion over the years.

Crabapple tree and Azaleas: We have the azaleas blooming beautifully here now, but not the spreading crabapple or the hostas.

Crocus and chionodoxa both come from bulbs and are among the earliest to sprout and bloom from cold ground.

All Photos- Courtesy of and Copyright by Betty Barr Mackey

 

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