When I left on vacation one year I looked over my list and just glanced at a title I had placed in my wish list book pile. So I downloaded The Butterfly Garden by Dot Richardson, not bothering to read an excerpt, believing I had done so before I put it on my wish list and just thinking from the title that it would make a good read while I visited the gardens on the English Garden Tours.
Was I in for a surprise when I opened that book! Now I have to tell you I don’t watch scary movies or TV programs. At my age the daily news is enough bad stuff for me and and I tend to turn that off too. Neither am I a prude or shrinking violet, I was a Registered Nurse for many years and worked critical care, so gory is not a problem for me. But, this book turned out to be a psychological thriller and I was so shocked by the first chapter that I simply could not put the book down because I had to know how everything turned out! All, I am going to say is, that it was quite graphic, frightening and a good read! I will NEVER be able to look at a butterfly floating lazily among the flowers or a butterfly collection in the same way again!
That book made me promise myself to always read the review before I place a book on my wish list and again before I download it. I think I’ll go back to my lovely gardening books of flowers and vegetable patches, sun-dappled paths and golden brick walls and give my heart a rest! Take heed, but if this kind of thriller is an interest for you, you will not be disappointed!
This is my favorite groundcover; saxifragis x urbium. It is called “London Pride,” and has been grown along garden paths, in England, since the 1700’s. It has a fragile, spiky, soft pink flower in spring. Many of the elderly folks are drawn to this plant because they are reminded of their time during WWII and Noël Coward’s song, by the same name, recorded during the Blitz. Cuttings from this plant quickly re-colonized at bomb sites and reminded Londeners that they too could re-build and move forward! Listen to it Here! Do any of you remember it? The video and music is a tear jerker! I found this patch of Pride at Pashley Gardens in the UK. To see more about Pashley look HERE!
I like to read, a lot. I read over 60 books a year and every year, especially during the winter months, I gear up! I have enjoyed reading books on gardens, especially gardens I have visited in the UK on my English Garden Tours. Virginia Woolf’s Garden, by Caroline Zoob, has become one of my favorite reads. I loved the photographs and details of the gardening skills of Zoob, while she and her husband were the caretakers of Monk’s House (the home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf) for ten years for the National Trust. It also was a look into the Woolf’s private lives during their time at Monk’s House, beginning with how they came to own the property, up until the time of Leonard’s death. So to me, it was a gardening book and a history book, which I loved! If I could live in Monk’s House I would, because I think it is a lovely house in a very rural area, that is surrounded by a beautiful small garden. It also has a little She-Shed in the back garden where Virginia did her writing and I could do mine too! What could be better than that? To see a post that I wrote about this garden, look Here.
If you are a fan of mysteries, like I am, you will find the Garden at Greenway a delight! Greenway is the home of my favorite author of all time, Agatha Christy. This plant is called a Navel Plant (that’s what they told me, does anyone know its botanical name?) and grows in between the rocky ledges in her garden wall. To read more about the beautiful Greenway and how it influenced Agatha Christy and her books, look Here!
Great Dixter is another garden that I fell in love with when I visited. This garden included the oust buildings, where the hops would dry out for beer brewing…………..I’ve yet to read a book from Christopher Lloyd, but he is on my list of authors to read. I guess I didn’t start with Christopher, because I think he would be a little above (more likely, way above) my experience of gardening. I have to work my way up in knowledge, or I am completely dithered! So HERE you can see more of Great Dixter!
And this week I finished, Plot 29, by Allan Jenkins. I think one of the SOS gardeners suggested it as a good read…………..Oh, boy is it! I could not put this book down! It is a true story from a man, who had a very severe childhood, (to say the least), and how he came to grips with his past. The garden kept him sane.
One year, I did a plot, when the church in our neighborhood had an opening in their vegetable garden. I knew nothing about vegetables or when to plant them. All the folks at the plot were so helpful. They said they would help me with the weed infested, overgrown space I took. I pulled out weeds and such to get down to the real problem. I wanted to find the actual dirt. I came several days in a row and every day I came back I found that someone or maybe many someone’s had been trying to get my plot ready. Then they left me a note, telling what kind of soil to get, and what kind of fertilizer to put on it, before I put one plant in it. They probably knew how anxious I was to just plant! So, when the plot was ready, per their instructions, I planted and planted; lots of lettuce and herbs and tomatoes and more lettuce and more lettuce…………..I had soooooooo much lettuce!
I would take a wagon and walk up the hill to fetch my produce, oh my those were the days. Sadly, I can no longer do a vegetable plot, because I am gone too much to care for it tenderly. But, I know what a plot of earth can do for you!
That is my SOS for today! I hope you have looked at a few of these gardens as well! I have written several posts on different gardens all over the world, but I have to say, to me, English gardens are THE BEST! I find when I go to a garden I want to know more about it. I want to know, who lived there and took care of it. What were they like? Why did they garden? What was the history of the garden? Did the garden have any secrets to share? I find I’m drawn to books about gardens and gardening! How about you? What have you read? Do you belong to a garden club? Do they discuss gardening books? Please share your thoughts, it would be very interesting to me!
Won’t you join us with your SOS?
The instructions for SOS are easy. The photos can be flowers, vegetables, a garden design, whatever, as long as it’s garden related and posted on Saturday! So, it’s six photos . Of Gardens. On Saturday. Easy Peasy. To see all the SOS’s look at SIX ON SATURDAY, hosted by the Propagator, to check out all of them each Saturday! See you next week in another spot!