Day 172 – Remembering the Novice Gardener’s Champion: Roger Waynick

Several years ago I sat across from the founder of Cool Spring Press and I heard his story of hunting through bookstores trying to find a book that would help him learn the basics of gardening in Tennessee. Nilch, nada, nothing was out there to guide him.
Most people would try to find another hobby.
Roger Waynick started his own publishing company to bring new gardeners like himself the info they need to simply get started.
His voice struck a chord with me, stirring the stories I’d experienced of helping that young mom keep her planters going all summer or helping the retired couple finally have the lush, colorful courtyard they’d been dreaming about. Roger’s publishing company gave me resources to pass on to these novice gardeners – books like Judy Lowe’s “Month by Month Gardening in Tennessee and Kentucky” and “Tough Plants for Southern Gardens” by Felder Rushing. Helping new gardeners find a little success keeps them coming back outside each spring to try something a little more challenging.
So here’s one of my favorite combos in memory of Roger Waynick, founder and president of Cool Springs Press, who passed away March 22, 2011, at age 5o:
Red Pentas – host plant to the Sphinx moth. This is a tribute to how Roger’s publishing company has helped bring gardening up from the ashes of a lost art to become one of the top areas of interests in our society today.
Dusty Miller – a plant known for being tough and reliable, a perfect example of the type plant to introduce to the first time gardener.
Evolvulus Blue Daze – a plant whose name comes from the Latin meaning to “untwist”. Unraveling the mysteries of gardening was the passion behind Roger’s beginning Cool Springs Press.
I know that there is so much more to who Roger Waynick was than what I knew as one of his writers. But this one part of his life left a huge impact on my life for which I will be forever grateful.