This lush reverie by one of Britain's most beloved garden writers is not about flowers or vegetables or soil or pruning. It is, rather, about gardening in its widest and most imaginative sense. For Osler (In the Eye of the Garden, etc.), a garden is recreation for the mind, and garden thoughts lead down ever-branching paths. Here, the structuring elements of the author's garden--trees, water, stone walls, roses and bulbs--serve as inspiration for many unexpected topics. The trees and pond lead to transporting descriptions of spare, open Chinese gardens and richly planted Mogul enclosures, of forgotten garden saints and botanist priests, as well as 19th-century plant collectors who braved exotic worlds. ""Longing for a little shambles here and there"" in her garden, Osler fashions her prose with engaging abandon--skipping nimbly from her passion for pond creatures to her disgust at regimented gardeners and certain trees whose ""suffocating pink froth... is seen foaming in the suburbs."" Osler's unfettered and knowledgeable observations disclose an expansive approach to horticulture that exemplifies her point: ""you don't have to garden to garden."" (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998 Release date: 05/01/1998 Genre: Nonfiction
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