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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Book Review: The Writer's Garden

Cold weather is heading this way and the activity in the garden is starting to slow down a bit.

And though I still need to plant a few bulbs, clean up most of the vegetable garden, cut back all the perennials, and hopefully harvest the compost from the compost bins before it freezes up,  I've started into the winter garden book reading season.

Well, yes, I do read garden books year round, but in the winter, I pick up the pace.

And I need to pick up the pace because I've had a little difficulty lately turning down offers of books to read and review.

One of the books I accepted to review is The Writer's Garden: How Gardens Inspired our Best-loved Authors by Jackie Bennett, with photos by Richard Hanson (Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2014).

Do you know what this book has done to me? It's made me want to go straight to England and travel all around to see the gardens owned and often tended by famous British writers including Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, and Walter Scott, to name a few.

It's also given me a renewed interest in English literature in general and taught me about a few writers   I didn't know about.  Or know much about.

For each writer, Bennett tells us the story of how the writer came to own or live at the house and garden, what it would have been like for them living there, what they wrote while in residence, and  who tends the gardens today.  Hanson has provided beautiful photographs of the gardens to accompany the stories.

I think of each chapter as a gardener's bedtime story.  One chapter a night, or maybe two, and I've forgotten the cares of the day and the chores of the garden as I look at the pictures of the writers' gardens and read the story of each writer in his or her garden.

Then I  dream of one day going to England and seeing some of these gardens in person.

That's what this book has done to me.

2 comments:

Helen Malandrakis said...

Me, too! I would love to visit England's gardens

Cathy Thompson said...

It's a great subject and I must read the book. I think it's fascinating how anyone - writer, artist or just committed gardener - chooses a garden. It's kind of a little mirror to our soul, a garden, isn't it?