Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Gardening Books

No surprise here, but I am a collector of garden books and am always looking for something new and interesting to add to my shelves. I love all the old favorites, Henry Mitchell, Allen Lacy, Beverley Nichols, Gertrude Jekyll, Elizabeth Lawrence.  One of my favorite things to do whenever we travel somewhere is to check out used bookstores and look for gardening books (I have found several treasures at the Strand in New York City). With the holiday season coming up, I have been watching for any new books coming out to put on my wish list. In fact it is a tradition for Walt to give me a gardening book every Christmas. I love my long relaxing soak in the bath on Christmas night while reading my new book!  Dominique Browning often writes about gardening books for the New York Times and I always get some ideas from her. One that caught my eye recently is The Roots of My Obsession, edited by Thomas C. Cooper, which sounds like my kind of book. Thirty garden writers talk about why they garden, and one review said it is like getting a letter or email from your favorite gardener. I am always interested to hear about why other people garden, and like to reflect on the many reasons I love gardening so much. And many of my favorite contemporary garden writers are included--Margaret Roach, Page Dickey, Anna Pavord, Ken Druse, Tovah Martin, Nancy Goodwin, Sydney Eddison, Amy Stewart.  This one is on my list.

Another book that was reviewed in the Washington Post a few weeks ago by Michael Dirda is Rosemary Verey: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Gardener, by Barbara Paul Robinson. Rosemary Verey was a very well-known English gardener and writer who had a great deal of influence on gardening both in England in the U.S. during the last 20 years. She came to the attention of the gardening world late in her life and her first book was published when she was 62 (she went on to write 17 more). But what interested me too was the author--she is a successful Manhattan attorney who worked as a gardener at Barnsely House (Verey's garden in England), during a sabbatical from her law practice, and became close friends with Verey for the last  20 years of (Verey's) life. I am looking forward to reading about the life and gardens of this great gardener, who was "the very personification of English garden style."

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