Posts tagged books

Words, Words, Words

When I wrote my post on Honest Scrap, one of my “honest confessions” was  the fact that I have over 500 gardening books.

Please excuse the quality of these pictures, they were taken on my phone!

I have been collecting them for a long time. It all started when I inherited my grandmother’s New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening.   This consisted of 14 volumes of all the gardening facts you could want all handily alphabetized.

These books were published in the 1960’s.

T.H. Everett was the assistant director and curator of education for the New York Botanical Gardens at the time.

There are also contributions from twenty horticulturists from the  US         and Canada.

Beverley Nichols is also a  man who I can point a finger at. I took Merry Hall out of the library, and I was hooked. I had to read all of his books. (One of my most exciting moments when I found a huge stack of his books in the bookshop in Sissinghurst village, they were 50 pence!)

I know that I have doubles of some of them, would you turn one of these down for 50p.

This started me on the road to ruin (financial that is, those gardening books can be expensive.)

At the beginning, I was buying books willy nilly, after all I didn’t have any, I needed them all.  It has only been in the last few years that my buying has slowed down, not for lack of space or desire, but through lack of interesting books.

My favourites are what would be classified under garden essays. I especially like it when someone writes about the history of their garden. After Bev, I moved to Vita, and Margery Fish,  then into more modern-day authors like Rosemary Verey and Penelope Hobhouse. 

My current favourites are Roy Strong, David Hicks and Paul Bangay, a young (and oh so brilliant) designer from Melbourne, Australia.

When we lived in London, there was a wealth of charity shops and second-hand book stores, and they all had gardening books. Since my favourites were always the English ones, I stocked up. How can you turn down a book for 1 pound? And I didn’t. Luckily my husband’s company was paying for shipping our personal effects back to Canada, there were 5 (ok, ok, it was more like 10) large boxes of books!

They make such a delicious display on the shelves my father in law built us!


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Happy 100!!!!

Wow, I made 100! How is this possible? I know they are very long lived in my dads family, but 100?

OK, I did not turn 100 years old, but this is my 100th  post!

When I started this blog, last June, I never thought that I would be writing my 100th post. I did not think that even I had that much to say, and I know that I am a bit of a motormouth.

I have had so many lovely messages, of praise, comfort and support, that I want to show some love back.

I am going to send this lovely book, John Brooks to a lucky reader. I have learned so much from this iconic English garden designer. He is a legend in his own time, sure to join such historical figures as Lanning Roper,  and Sylvia Crowe (who he worked for).

If you leave a comment on this post before February  22nd  I will make a draw from all the names entered.

I also want to show some love and support  to some new bloggers out there. Jodi has had some very interesting and thought provoking posts lately. I remember how excited I was the first time I found a comment from someone other than my friends or family. I was amazed that anyone would find my garden interesting.

Quite a few bloggers are drawing attention to newbies at Blotanical, and I would also like to. Two blogs have really caught my attention over the month they have been with Blotanical, and I do not think that they are getting enough attention.

Gardening Asylum is a blogger after my own heart. We seem to have a very similar approach, especially when it comes to getting out the spray paint,lol. And Garden Shoots: A landscape Designer Branches Out is constantly giving me new ideas, a very dangerous thing. Melissa has an amazing eye for the beautiful. To top it off, both of them mention two of my favourite gardens on their to visit list, Les Quatre Vents and The Laskett.

Please take the time to check out these two great blogs, you won’t be sorry!

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The Full Monty

As Teza could probably tell you, I am in love/lust with Monty Don.

It is a combination of things about him. First, is his love for his wife. He never hesitates to proclaim it, always insisting that she has made him the man he is today. (Ian, are you listening)

And he always makes you think that he is talking directly to you (what? the power of television).  And how sexy is it to have a man interested in gardening with you.


I have every book that Monty and Sarah Don have written (and now, Around the World in 80 Gardens, thank you Teza). Their  newest book is entitled The Ivington Diaries.  It is based on journals that Monty kept over the years from 1995 – 2005. 

I have always had a bit of a thing for diaries. From Roy Strongs, through Harold Nicolsons, and James Lees-Milne, I guess it is the voyeur in me. everyone’s lives sounds so fascinating, (or do they just embellish them, knowing they will be published one day).

I could not even conceive keeping a journal about my garden on a daily basis. For one thing, from November to March, it would say only one thing, Snow! For example, on January 9,1999, he was weeding. I can’t even see the ground in January, never mind weed.

But, I love the book. It is like have a sit down and a long conversation about gardening. You will learn something and not even realize you did.

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