Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden

Front Cover
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1997 - Gardening - 233 pages
27 Reviews
Mrs. Whaley's tiny, walled garden is said to be the most visited private garden in America. And no wonder. It is the life's work of a forceful, vibrant, sociable, opinionated, determined woman who has spent the last eighty-five years cultivating whatever life offered. Now, in conversations with award-winning lowcountry novelist William Baldwin, Mrs. Whaley takes us on a tour of her garden - and of her life. Each year since 1940, Mrs. Whaley has made her garden new again and herself through it. She yanks out annuals and perennials alike. She prunes with a vengeance. ("I never walk into my garden without my clippers in hand.") She is careful not to overdo. ("Remember! There's such a thing as too many dancing girls!") As an ever-evolving work of art, the garden reflects Mrs. Whaley's hard-headed determination to make the most of her own remarkable existence. William Baldwin captures and preserves in these pages an intuitive gardener's wisdom. And thanks to this gardener's bracing, positive attitude, we see how a practical personal philosophy might indeed grow out of one's beloved garden.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lucybrown - LibraryThing

Miss Whaley was a charming woman so it is no surprise that her memoir would be charming as well. One episode I remember her description of the teen dances where an elderly woman raucously played on ... Read full review

Review: Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden

User Review  - Maddie Fritz - Goodreads

A quick read, this book is like an afternoon conversation with a traditionally Southern woman. Mrs. Whaley's story reminds us of a time where kids went barefoot; and when whether or not you attended dance classes or which church you attended had political and social consequences. Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Emily Whaley was born in 1911 in Pinopolis, South Carolina. The mother of three daughters and grandmother of seven, she divided her time between her houses (and their kitchens) in Charleston, South Carolina, and Flat Rock, North Carolina. She died in June 1998.

William A. Ringler, Jr. (1912-1987), best known for his definitive edition of the "Poems of Sir Philip Sidney" (1962), was also highly regarded for a wide range of studies in English Renaissance literature, including bibliographies of half of the major and all of the minor Tudor poets for the "New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature" (1974). "The Bibliography and Index of English Verse, 1476-1558" (1988), based on his research in poetic manuscripts, was published shortly after his death.
Michael Flachmann, a former student of William Ringler's at the University of Chicago, is now a professor of English at California State University, Bakersfield, where he specializes in literature of the English Renaissance. He has published six books and numerous articles on Shakespeare and related topics.

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