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Release: Immediate

Winter and gardening explored in new UI Press book

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- While winter and gardening may seem to go together like icicles and July, the icy season plays an important role in a gardener's psyche, a noted University of Iowa professor and avid gardener discovers in a new book from the UI Press.

"Weathering Winter: A Gardener's Daybook," by Carl Klaus, the founder of the UI's nonfiction writing program, chronicles Klaus' observations about the season, its weather, his hopes for the coming growing season, and the pull between the beauty and cruelty of the winter months.

From the first cold snap of late December 1994 to the first outdoor planting of onion sets and radish seeds in mid-March 1995, Klaus tracked snow falling, birds flocking, soups simmering, catalogs arriving, and seed trays coming to life.

His careful observations include the unexpected effects on the snowfall and temperatures caused by the last large El Nino weather system. Scientists are predicting that gardeners the world over will again feel the effects of El Nino this coming winter.

Klaus' constant, careful checks on the temperature and on the geraniums wintering in the attic, his contentment in the basil- and garlic-flavored tomato sauce he cooked up from last season's crops, and his walks with his wife in the bitter chill of starry January nights will resonate with gardeners and lovers of the out-of-doors.

"Carl Klaus' journal of a single season makes a whole world of winter," says Patricia Hampl, author of "Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life." "The generosity of spirit and steadfast care of a true gardener lift every page. Reading this luminous meditation is a great way to make it through the feints and lunges of a tough bout with winter."

Carl Klaus is the founder and former director of the UI's nonfiction writing program and a specialist in the personal essay. A longtime Iowa City vegetable gardener, Klaus has chronicled his backyard adventures in the widely praised daybook "My Vegetable Love: A Journal of a Growing Season."

"Weathering Winter: A Gardener's Daybook" is available at bookstores nationwide for $19.95. The book can also be ordered from UI Press by calling (319) 384-3808 (for calls within Johnson County) or 1-800-235-2665 (outside Johnson County).

Information is also available at the UI Press website: