Into the Garden with Charles: A Memoir

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Macmillan, Apr 10, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
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Set in the tiny village of Orient, Long Island, and in New York City, Into the Garden with Charles is a memoir about falling in love. As a boy in suburban New York in 1940s, Clyde Wachsberger daydreams about storybook gardens where magic happens under the huge leaves. Through the 1960s and 1970s, when most gay men disdained monogamy, the author—an artist and set-designer in New York City—searches unsuccessfully for a soul mate. In 1983, approaching middle-age and having given up on finding love, he moves to a three-hundred-year-old house on a third of an acre, where he channels his passion into creating a garden appropriate to his historical home. Then remarkable circumstances lead him to Charles—a connoisseur of art, a gardener, and the man who will become his life-partner. Together they create a garden of sensuous wild beauty.

Into the Garden with Charles is infused with the author's artistic sensibility and is written in a voice that is unaffected, generous, and straightforward. Enriched with the author's paintings—giving it the look and feel of an antique children's book—Into the Garden with Charles is a unique and moving memoir about growing old and falling in love.

 

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Contents

The Privet Hedge
3
A House on Village Lane
5
A Garden Behind a Hedge
21
Under a Papiermâché Banana Tree
45
Roses in the Snow
59
Mr Soitos Peonies
71
A Stolen Coleus
85
Passionflowers and Bindweed
99
Hummingbirds
115
Frances and Victor
139
LoveintheMist
159
A Cucumber Magnolia and a Pink Horse Chestnut
175
Asters and Goldenrod
195
The Screened Porch
211
Acknowledgments
213
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Clyde Phillip Wachsberger was an artist, gardener, and writer who lived in Orient on Long Island's North Fork. His published books include Daffodil, Rose, and Of Leaf and Flower: Stories and Poems for Gardeners, which he coedited with his partner, Charles Dean, and for which his illustrations won a Garden Writers Association Gold Award for best book illustration. He died in November 2011.

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