Libra ~ Louise Riotte, Moon Gardener

Riotte ChartLouise Riotte was an American author of books on gardening, emphasizing gardening organically and by the moon. Today is her birthday. She was born September 25, 1909, in Hawesville, KY, and moved to Ardmore, OK, in 1921 where she lived out her life. Even though you may never have gardened, if you’ve ever owned any of the Llewellyn Moon Sign books, you most likely held her work in your hands. She contributed to that series of books for many years. She also contributed many gardening tips to Reader’s Digest.

We tend to think of gardening as an activity of Taurus, but Libra rules flowers, in general, and roses especially. Venus won’t mind whether it’s Taurus or Libra that gets the credit, as they both fall under her domain.

“I am myself a Libra, and even as a little girl my joy in beautiful blossoms was apparent. I did not understand why I was so attracted to them, but my wise parents did.”
~ Louise Riotte,  Planetary Planting

It’s difficult to find biographical information on Louise Riotte unless you read her own accounts in her books. She does, however, have a page at the Astrologers’ Memorial, a wonderful site created by Donna Cunningham. Donna has graciously allowed me to share Riotte’s memorial page here on Auntie Moon. There is a very sweet and personal account of Louise on my new clippings page at Garden Web, and you can leave virtual flowers and a note in memory of Louise at her memorial on Find a Grave.

LOUISE RIOTTE
1909-1998

©2001 by Donna Cunningham

louise riotteIt’s odd to think that someone who has sold hundreds of thousands of books on gardening by astrology wouldn’t be recognized by many of the visitors to this page, but that is the case with Louise Riotte. Gardeners, especially of the natural variety, are more her readership.

About 15 years ago, when I was editing Shooting Star, a journal about astrology and flower essences, I exchanged a few letters with Louise, who at that time was a mainstay with the Llewellyn Moon Sign annuals. A delightful elderly lady from Oklahoma, she was extremely kind and more than willing to share her decades of experience with gardening by the Moon signs.

When I began working on the Memorial Website, I thought of her and imagined she must have passed on, but wasn’t able to find any information. A year later, I finally was directed to a touching memorial on her publisher’s web site. The photo above and the information below are from Storey Books, where you can also order her books.

Her publisher writes:

“Beloved Storey author and life-long gardener, Louise Riotte passed away in 1998 at the age of 89. She wrote twelve books on gardening, companion planting, and garden lore, among them the ever-popular Carrots Love Tomatoes, which has sold approximately 515,000 copies.

“Her father taught her to believe in and practice astrology, while her mother was a practicing herbalist. Together they inevitably influenced her life and her books. Her books still in print with us are: Roses Love Garlic, Astrological Gardening, Sleeping with a Sunflower, Catfish Ponds & Lily Pads, and her most recent book, Raising Animals by the Moon, which was published posthumously. Her own line drawings are included in all her books.

“Before authoring books, Riotte was a ghost writer for Simon & Schuster and for Jerry Baker’s radio gardening show, and she wrote a number of articles for Organic Gardening as well. Riotte took pride in her garden near her home in Ardmore, Oklahoma, which her son Eugene helped care for in her later years.”

Reprinted with the permission of Storey Books.

About the Author: Donna Cunningham, MSW, is internationally-respected for her many books, articles, and columns on astrology, flower essences, and other metaphysical topics. She now teaches writing by teleseminar and correspondence course, as well as teleseminars and a correspondence course on astrology. Order her books at http://www.moonmavenpublications.com/astrologybooks.html and visit her blog at http://skywriter.wordpress.com.