The Roots of My Obsession features thirty essays from the most vital voices in gardening, exploring the myriad motives and impulses that cause a person to become a gardener. For some, it’s the quest to achieve a personal vision of ultimate beauty; for others, it’s a mission to heal the earth, or to grow a perfect peach. The essays are as distinct as their authors, and yet each one is direct, engaging, and from the heart.
For Doug Tallamy, a love of plants is rooted first in a love of animals: “animals with two legs (birds), four legs (box turtles, salamanders, and foxes), six legs (butterflies and beetles), eight legs (spiders), dozens of legs (centipedes), hundreds of legs (millipedes), and even animals with no legs (snakes and pollywogs).” For Rosalind Creasy, it’s “not the plant itself; it’s how you use it in the garden.” And for Sydney Eddison, the reason has changed throughout the years. Now, she “gardens for the moment.”
As you read, you may find yourself nodding your head in agreement, or gasping in disbelief. What you’re sure to encounter is some of the best writing about the gardener’s soul ever to appear. For anyone who cherishes the miracle of bringing forth life from the soil, The Roots of My Obsession is essential inspiration.
The Telegraph has long enjoyed the closest association with gardeners. Indeed, as the newspaper of choice for the counties and the shires, it revels in the glory and variety of Britain’s horticultural heritage, whether celebrating the most renowned gardens, like Great Dixter, or extolling the tart virtues of rhubarb.
For gardening spans a vast spectrum. Variously hobby, art form, industry and, on occasion, cause of social unrest, it encompasses the annual spectacle of the Chelsea Flower Show, Vita Sackville-West’s legendary White Garden at Sissinghurst, and the pursuit of prize-winning pumpkins. And while the Telegraph’s weekend supplements might publish advice on growing asparagus or figs, the letters pages bristle with feuds and controversies at the RHS.
Whatever form it takes, few things could be more central to the world of the Telegraph reader than the garden. Which is why the paper has always attracted the best writers on the subject: from the experts of today, such as Stephen Lacey, Mary Keen, Sarah Raven and Bunny Guinness, through great sages of yesteryear, like Fred Whitsey, Denis Wood and Rosemary Verey, to the more esoteric musings of Germaine Greer, Roy Strong and W. F. Deedes. All are collected here in this compendious and endlessly fascinating anthology, compiled by eminent green-fingered scribe Tim Richardson.
As varied and colourful as a traditional herbaceous border at the height of summer, ?Of Rhubarb and Roses is the perfect book for an afternoon’s reading in a deckchair, as the shadows lengthen across that newly mown lawn./div
Now the author/artist/gardener describes his making of Madoo in a book that is as charming and entertaining as it is enlightening. Dash’s artist's sense --or senses -- of the movement of air and the effects of light and color suffuse all his writings, and show us new ways to look at our own gardens.
As with Henry Mitchell's books, one learns more from reading these essays than from a dozen how-to books. And whether we like to make gardens or simply to look at them, Dash has given us a book to keep by the bedside, where we can read and reread our favorite pieces ("Fairies"? "Manuring"? "The Name of the Rose"? "The Garden Tour"? Too many to list!) over and over again.
What makes Writing the Garden such a joy to read is that it is not simply a collection of extracts, but real discussions and examinations of the personalities who made their mark on how we design, how we plant, and how we think about what is for many one of life's lasting pleasures. Starting with "Women in the Garden" (Jane Loudon, Fran ces Garnet Wolseley, and Gertrude Jekyll) and concluding with "Philosophers in the Garden" (Henry David Tho reau, Michael Pollan, and Allen Lacy), this is a book that encompasses the full sweep of the best garden writing in the English language.
Writing the Garden is co-published by the New York Society Library and the Foundation for Landscape Studies in association with David R. Godine, Publisher.
The Reader’s Digest Quintessential Guides do what the Reader’s Digest does better than anyone: the best advice, straight to the point.
Inside you'll find:
What to Grow Where
Design Gardens for Beauty and Productivity
Deal with Plant Diseases, Pests, and Weeds
Pick the Right Tools
And Much More!
Divided into chapters covering Flowers, Food, Containers, Design and a miscellaneous 'Something For the Weekend' section, Top Tips will teach you how to make the most of classic British blooms, how to propagate exotic plants in our cool climate, the pots to plant them in and the food they'll need to help them grow. It will help you make the most of small gardens and tackle wide open spaces, to attract ladybirds and slugs as an organic army to fight flies and aphids, and to grow the plumpest, juiciest fruits and vegetables on your doorstep.
All this is presented in a classic, elegant format, with fine line drawings illustrating the snippets of invaluable gardening know-how that will make the perfect gift for your green-fingered friends to dip into.