The Gardener at Sea & Other Tales is Magically Crafted, Earthy Original

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Bob “the Hobby Gardener” Battersby’s collective new series is infused with spirituality, wit, depth and the real concerns of a true gardener.

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Bob Battersby is a magical craftsman who hushes us into belief and focus for the will-o’-the-wisps and natural bounty he is constantly in search of in his stories. In his gnomic, elusively refined and highly original viewpoint, the readers see beneath the waves, hear secrets in the wind, and wax poetic even when sweating it out, digging up the literary or real weeds to give “the Hobby Gardener’s” world a real work out on that uninspiring front lawn or the even more unused one in the imagination.

Those who garden for a hobby, whether master or plebe, will find some of their thoughts mirrored in the tales and stories in The Gardener at Sea & Other Tales. The book speaks of sunsets, flowers, and scents. It supports the efforts and lends nobility to those who strive for floral beauty, food for the table, or fruit for the pies. It is wondrously funny at the right moments. It is a canny, fraternally proletarian approach that belies the built-in spirituality that is found embedded (if not hidden) in the very language of all good literature, as witness the opening passage of the piece called “SkyPinkBlue”:

‘“SkyBluePink” is a color etched in my childhood memory. Perhaps it was only a product of my mother’s imagination, but it always seemed real to me. It was not a painter’s color choice; nor could it be found in the finest photographs. “SkyBluePink” was the color of dawn when it introduces itself gently and without fanfare.’

Bob “the Hobby Gardener” Battersby digs up the fertile loam of imagination and plants a gruffly elegant, masterfully-arranged garden of colorful blooms, ruminations of a gardener producing the rarest fine bouquet in literature’s growing seasons. The Gardener at Sea & Other Tales could not be anything but a vintage harvest. Battersby is a real gardener. His literary garden, too, is also an authentic one that grows finely detailed memories, winsome tales, homespun philosophy underpinned by nature’s smiles–it is as gorgeous as any of the finest gardens on earth, literary or real. One passage, in conclusion, captures the essence of Battersby’s philosophy:

‘Your garden and mine have this innate ability and it has nothing to do with our choice of plants or their floral beauty. It has little to do with our abilities, whether they are of an amateur or a master. It is a bond we made with ourselves when we first decided to have a garden in our landscape and when we first took trowel or spade in hand and chose a place to commit that first packet of seed…We nurtured those seeds…and they took root and sprouted. From that moment on the garden had us as much as we had a garden.’

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About the Author
Bob Battersby has spent the last sixty years moving dirt around in his Mill Valley gardens where he has lived with his wife, Pat, for the last fifty years. Ten of those years, he wrote and edited a newsletter for the Garden Society of Marin. Three of those years, he served as president of the society. Some of the tales and essays in this book were written during that period. The author also has a Facebook page under his alter ego: “The Hobby Gardener.” He has travelled extensively and has blended some of his travel experiences into his stories.

The Gardener at Sea & Other Tales * by Bob Battersby
Publication Date: July 19, 2013
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 51 pages; 978-1-4836-6898-7
Trade Hardback; $24.99; 51 pages; 978-1-4836-6899-4
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4836-6900-7

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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