Boyer book cover

Local author Melanie Boyer has high hopes for her new gardening book to blossom in a community where national tragedy struck.

The Shanksville native has penned a new book titled “A Garden Observed: Cultivating a Life,” in which she shares heart-felt stories, Bible verses, intimate photographs and inspirational quotes.

“I wanted the whole book to be about relationships and just people seeing the value of their friendships,” Boyer said. “Some people get overlooked a little bit and they’re a little harder to connect, but if you put a little time in them it could make all the difference to a person who needs help or a friend.

“I grew up on a small farm.

“Everyday there’s a relationship with the land, with the weather, and your choices are very much affected by what kind of season it’s in,” she said.

“I grew up in a big family with five siblings, so there’s all of those different relationships.

“I try to tie how those relationships are very similar to our relationship with a garden and all the different elements and the seasons of the year and the climate.”

The new book by Boyer is a collection of lessons, and a journey of growth. She explained that her goal for the book is to help people rediscover gardening as a way to discover the Creator’s love and peace in tumultuous times.

“At the core of this, I want people to see the significance of a relationship,” said Boyer, who worked for 15 years as a gardener. “Seeing myself as a gardener has helped me understand my role in a struggling world.

“Answers to nameless longings and questions I didn’t know how to ask, I found in the simple truths of a garden.”

Boyer, a Johnstown resident, said she was inspired to write the book in hopes that someone else would gain from reading it – whether it be mentally, emotionally or spiritually.

“A Garden Observed’ is part coffee-table book, part devotional,” she said.

“A Garden Observed: Cultivating a Life” is available for purchase on

Ronald Fisher is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @FisherSince_82.

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