Notes from the Garden

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Random House, 2009 - History - 312 pages
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Pieces written by the paper’s stellar list of gardening correspondents—Vita Sackville-West, Penelope Hobhouse, Monty Don, Carol Klein, and Christopher Lloyd—chronicle the relationship between people and their gardens from 1856 to the present day   All aspects of British gardening are explored in this charming guide, from the 19th-century plant hunters such as "China" Wilson and the Veitches, who brought seeds and specimens from every corner of the world, to the designers such as Capability Brown and Gertrude Jekyll, who set their mark on gardening styles. Stories about the restoration of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the building of the great glasshouses at Chatsworth, and the preservation work carried out at Kew paint a picture of how history can be unearthed through gardening, and emphasize how important it is to preserve green-fingered heritage. As well as charting the broad movements of British gardening history over the past 150 years, it includes delightful asides such as a letter condemning the fashion for "damnable tight trousers" that make gardening a contortionist's art and the 2003 "cull" of Derbyshire garden gnomes. Coming right up to the present day with pieces on the advances at the Eden project, this is the perfect bedside companion for anyone who loves or envies British gardens.

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About the author (2009)

Ruth Petrie is a freelance editor. She selected articles for Cuttings: A Year in the Garden with Christopher Lloyd (2007) and The Guardian Book of the Countryside (2008).

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