Talent Is Overrated What Really Separates World Class Performers From Everyone Else by Geoff Colvin
This book is an argument for "deliberate practice" over long time periods to create superior performance. It separates regular practice from "deliberate practice" by describing it as practice under expert guidance with specific goals for improvement. Some of the types of deliberate practice described are Tiger Wood's golf practice, Jerry Rice's football practice, practicing to become a concert musician or a master chess player.
The book describes how "deliberate practice" can be applied in more mundane situations. For example if you wanted to improve your writing skills, you might read The Elements of Style, analyze the stories of O. Henry, and study print design in a focused manner. What is described is not easy to do, and requires quite a bit of concentration. I can see how it could be done with something like blogging or poetry.
There are three focuses in practice which are talked about; improving knowledge, improving memory of the subject being studied, and percieving more. The book states that it takes ten years to master most subjects. This is why it is so important to start at a very young age in so many fields like ballet and music. I don't see why it is not perfectly applicable to gardening or any other interest.
This book is an argument against the concept of nature versus nurture. It says that focus and concentration on a specific skill under expert guidance for many hours a day are what make superior performance. I rather like the idea and can see some of the point. However, I am not completely ready to count talent out. It is a very intellectual book. It makes you think.