BOOK REVIEW: Digging Deep

Post last updated: July 26th, 2017

I recently finished reading DIGGING DEEP: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening by Fran Sorin, a garden designer.

I loved this book because it was about gardening and creativity. As I mentioned in a previous post, the subject of creativity has been dear to my heart for 20+ years.

Digging Deep was divided into seven stages starting with Imagining and Envisioning then moving onto Planning and Taking Action. The last three stages were about Tending, Enjoying and Cycling Through the Seasons.

One of the chapters was on Trusting Your Instincts. Sorin said “we all have stories about times in our lives when we didn’t follow our instincts and lived to regret it” and went on to say that “when you make choices that are aligned with your instincts, you build self-confidence.” In relating it to gardening, she suggested that we trust our instincts when we have a sense of what will work in our garden and suggested that in a worst-case scenario, we would end up with something representing our current creative process that we could fix or camouflage later.

Near the end of the book, Sorin said the special secret about creativity is that it’s “a form of energy, and it follows the natural physical law that energy begets energy. You are not giving your ideas or creative products away so much as making room for new ones to arise. By keeping the energy in motion, your imagining and envisioning powers stay fresh and active, and your capacity to see more possibilities increases. To share the products of your authentic creation is to pass along your legacy. This is how a piece of us lives on, long after our time here has expired.”

You can read more about Sorin at or

6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Digging Deep”

  1. Yes, when I go to my parents’ home and see the yard, I see my Mother and her creativity and love of beauty even though she passed on at the age of 95. The 8 ft azaleas, and 10 ft camellias she rooted are still blooming every year. The boxwoods she rooted and planted are still being trimmed twice each year and the dogwood and redbud trees she and Daddy dug from the nearby woods and planted in the yard are just awesome! She left a legacy.

  2. Just what I needed to hear this morning – trust my instincts! I have been battling where to put some plants. Where they look right ‘on paper’ just isn’t going to work, and I’ve been dreaming in my mind another place for them, although it’s not what most people would do. Thanks for that. And the last quote about how a piece of us lives on is wonderful, too. I think all of us gardeners hope a piece of our gardens live on long after we’re gone. This book is on my ‘to buy’ list. 🙂

  3. A big smile came across my face this morning when I read your review of my book, Digging Deep. From one creative soul to another, thanks for sharing your thoughts with your readers. I appreciate it. 🙂 Fran

    1. Ah, another author with google alerts turned on. I can never get away with anything! 🙂 Loved your book. Natalie Goldman or Julia Cameron wrote about dropping down the well. That was the sensation I had when reading Digging Deep but I couldn’t say that because it would have necessitated re-reading all their books to get my facts straight. So it took me six weeks of looking at your book to figure out what to say! In the end, I just quoted some of your stuff I really liked and that’s what my readers enjoyed. It gave them a “taste” of the book. Hope you didn’t mind. I always forget google alerts is gonna tell on me.

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