Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden

Emily Whaley, Author, William Baldwin, Editor
Emily Whaley, Author, William Baldwin, Editor Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $17.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-56512-115-7
Paperback - 233 pages - 978-0-684-84387-2
Paperback - 978-0-684-00691-8
Hardcover - 263 pages - 978-0-7862-1318-4
Open Ebook - 246 pages - 978-1-56512-781-4
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This book constitutes an ageless and captivating visit with 85-year-old Emily Whaley, the daughter of a South Carolina country doctor and his wife, who married a successful lawyer and moved to Charleston 60 years ago. As a special gift, Whaley's husband hired a professional designer to plan a formal garden with a ""romantic natural background"" for the house on Church Street, where she still lives. Thousands of people visit the garden each fall during the city's garden festival. Chatting with William Baldwin, a writer, home designer and fellow South Carolinian, Whaley breathlessly and delightfully describes her garden, other gardens she's known and recollections of her childhood, with her fresh mind and mint-condition memory stitching the strands into a rich memoir. Whaley's simple, direct language conveys not just her many frank opinions but her self-described joie de vivre and appreciation of the houses and gardens in her life. Hers is a world full of sunlight, ""uncluttered space,"" Southern-city charms, idiosyncratic tradition, hearty gregariousness and the ubiquitous presence of flowers. In the South, as the author describes it, gardens are not simply decorative outdoor areas but places where one lives out one's life, as in the rooms of one's house. (Mar.)
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