As promised, the first of the authors participating in the Authors Book Fair in Guelph, Ontario, on December 10, 2011 is Kim Bursgma, author of the beautiful gardening book, Almost Eden.
Kim Burgsma is an award winning landscape designer, speaker, garden class instructor, and author. She writes a monthly garden column for Focus Newsmagazine and received an honorary mention for Almost Eden in the 2010 Word Alive Press contest.
She has owned her own landscape design company since graduating from the University of Guelph in 2000. Her landscape work, home, and gardens have been featured in Life Style, She, City Woman, and Canadian Homes and Cottages magazines as well as the Toronto Star.
Kim lives and gardens on the outskirts of the lakeside town of Goderich Ontario. She’s proud to belong to the community that Queen Elizabeth dubbed ‘The Prettiest Town in Canada’.
She and her husband have been blessed with three decades together and are looking forward to many more. They have two sons who had the good sense to marry incredible women and one daughter with an equally sensible boyfriend.
She doesn’t have a dog, cat, parakeet, or hamster but knows that every person placed on this earth is special in some way. She is grateful to spend her free time with so many unique and interesting people.
Next to gardening her favorite pastime is cooking. Herbs from her garden are regularly clipped, chopped, and crisped to share with family and friends.
AN Interview with Kim Burgsma
The desire to write grows from somewhere. Read Kim Burgsma’s story.
Q: Why landscape design? Who or what has influenced you in your current career choice?
A: Gardening was my passion before I became a landscape designer. My desire was to work in a field (no pun intended) that I loved. I feel very blessed to be able to use God’s creation in a way that people can use and appreciate on a daily basis. I also believed that I would be able to work primarily from my home, offering me a flexible work schedule. As a wife and
mother of three children, it was important for me to be able to be home when they were home from school, at least most of the time.
I give a lot of credit to my supportive husband who has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and believes that I can do more than I ever think I’m capable of. He also runs a mean vacuum cleaner, and can rustle up a great dinner when I’m too busy to do so.
Q: While writing your newly released book, Almost Eden, is there anything you learned about writing or landscaping that had surprised you? How have you learned from them?
A: I am a landscape designer first and a writer second, which means I had a lot to learn about writing. I still do. I believe what surprised me most about writing is that I can actually write. An even bigger surprise is that people have made such wonderful comments about how certain parts of my book have inspired them either as a gardener or a Christian.
I wouldn’t say that I have learned a great deal more about landscaping. Instead I would say that I have gained an even greater appreciation for the diversity and life cycle of plants. As a landscape designer, I know that I can try to mimic nature, but I will never be able to recreate the wondrous, majestic gardens God has lavished on this earth. God’s awesome glory is revealed in nature and humbles me each day.
Q: Landscape design is said to be like creating poetry or music. Do you create your designs from an artistic view, or based first on functionality?
A: A great landscape design cannot have one without the other. The first thing necessary to create a beautiful garden, is to first find out how the client would like to use his/her garden, understand what their vision of a garden is, ask about their budget, and time for maintenance. There is no point creating a wonderful landscape design if the client cannot afford it, hasn’t the time to maintain it, or cannot use it in a practical manner.
Creating great gardens is like painting, only your palette is the materials, both plant and hardscape, and your canvas is the garden space. The arrangement of these materials is similar to music. There needs to be visual flow to the garden with an element of surprise and excitement here or there.
A well executed landscape design, in my opinion, is the best art of all. A garden is art that is ever changing. You can look at your garden each week, month, and season and be surprised by something different each time.
Q: If nothing else, what is the one thing you would like the attendees at Write! Canada to take away from your panel discussion?
A: There are always people who are smarter, more experienced, and polished than ourselves, regardless of how long we have been writing. Be open minded, ask lots of questions, seek and ask for criticism, and be humble enough to re-evaluate your work when constructive criticism is offered.
I would also like to see great writers succeed. Unfortunately, that means that you have to do more than write. You also have to have some business savvy to make your work successful. I am hoping that those who have trouble with the business end of writing will see its necessity. I truly hope that we, as a panel, can simplify the business process so that others may apply it to their own work so they, too, will be able to create a successful writing career.
Interview by Andi Harris
ALmost Eden Review
Almost Eden, is a beautiful, full-colour, hard-cover book from Canadian author Kim Burgsma. It is the perfect gift for gardeners or anyone who enjoys the beauty of God’s creation.
Burgsma is quite the photographer as many of the pictures are her own and when they are not, it appears that family members helped out. I was astounded at the beauty that was captured and say kudos to the Burgsma family on some very impressive photographs.
In Almost Eden the author brings into focus the beauty of God’s earth and gardens He originally designed. She explains in great detail the differences between many types of gardens, from native to naturalized gardens. She provides valuable advice on the various soils across the land and how to prepare them so that they will be productive. She covers everything a gardener would need from weed control, to lawns, pests, watering and how to attract birds. I was particularly impressed with the chapter on gardens for the disabled. Burgsma has managed to think of just about everything and she wraps it all beautifully with the Creator in mind.
Almost Eden will have you wishing the author made house calls and Kim if you do – I could really use some help in my backyard!
You can contact Kim through her website at http://www.kimburgsma.ca
PUBLISHER: Word Alive Press
ISBN #: 978-1-77069-243-5
Originally Posted by Laura J. Davis
A beautiful book to hold, read, share and learn. Well done, Kim, and great review, Laura!
Kimberley Payne said…
I bought the book thinking I may give it away as a gift…but I just can’t seem to part with it. It’s gorgeous! I’ll have to buy another one (or more).
Great review, Laura.
Almost Eden is a real treat. The reader enjoys a message delivered straight from Kim’s heart while benefiting from her considerable experience on a very practical level. The photographs alone are worth the price of the book.
Whether you indulge in the experience of gardening with both knees and hands or enjoy armchair gardening this book provides a wealth of inspiration.
If you are not able to attend the Authors Book Fair in person, Almost Eden is available at Chapters, Indigo, Coles, Christian Bookstores, website www.kimburgsma.ca, or you can order the book through any bookstore.
Drop by every couple of days between now and the Book Fair, to meet more of the great Canadian authors who will be involved with this event.
Press on, my friends. Press on,