A GARDEN BY THE SEA: A Practical Guide and Journal

Leila Hadley, Author . Rizzoli $35 (217p) ISBN 978-0-8478-2651-3

"All my life, I've known gardens, grown gardens," writes Hadley at the start of this captivating chronicle and guide. The author of the travel memoirs Give Me the World and A Journey with Elsa Cloud grew up believing that cultivating plants and flowers was an indispensable part of any good life (her grandmother was a friend of the great British garden designer Gertrude Jekyll). Hadley was steeped in the notion that truly beautiful gardens were composed with restraint and harmony. Size and extravagance was never the point. She has cultivated gardens all over the world, from South Africa to California, but one of her favorites remains a "jungle of blue morning glories in terracotta pots" on a Manhattan balcony "no larger than a bath mat." In 1990, her husband, the philanthropist Henry Luce III, presented her with a cliff-top house and five acres of beach-front property on Fisher's Island, off the shore of Connecticut, and Hadley learned to expand her sense of what it means to be harmonious and restrained in the dramatic conditions of the sea. Combining a wealth of practical information with the eye and the verve of a born explorer, observer and artist, following the seasons and the passing years, Hadley details how to create a garden that is organic on every level—matching and enhancing the environment and all its inhabitants. "The way Hank works a room at cocktail parties, chatting with everyone he knows, exchanging remembrances, catching up on what's going on at the moment, is the way I walk about the garden in the early morning in June." In this gorgeously written and photographed book, Hadley reveals what it is about gardening that is exquisitely temporal and timeless, down to earth and divine. This book will make everyone want to pick up a trowel. 200 color photos. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/28/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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