cover image Thoughtful Gardening

Thoughtful Gardening

Robin Lane Fox, Basic, $28.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-4650-2196-3

In this collection of 80 essays, the Financial Times gardening columnist and Oxford historian presents a convincing case that gardening is about far more than horticultural skill. For Fox, flower gardens are human creations informed by art, history, science, politics, and personality. He takes readers on a year-long tour that combines practical guidance, serious reflection, and humorous provocations. There are essays on individual species, rich with detailed information on exceptional cultivars and best cultivation methods, throughout the year. Other essays reveal Fox's candid, personal impressions of well-known gardeners, including some surprising insights about Christopher Lloyd and Rosemary Verey. He shares his sensitive impressions of distinguished gardens around the globe and the Sisyphean struggles in his own garden. Fox's iconoclastic beliefs and nonorganic methods might alienate some purists, but most gardeners will delight in this rich collection. Opinionated, witty, and erudite, this collection is an example of the best garden writing. (Dec.)