May 18, 2004

Rainy-day Diversions

Chicago in May: One lovely day yesterday, and then back to cold, damp, and rain. I am not of the temperament that enjoys working outside in the cold, so it's no wonder my hands-on gardening experience is, well, limited.

But there are other ways to learn, and in a city where winter lasts far longer than the calendar seasons, it's a good thing there are books. Here are a couple of interesting garden book reviews:

The (UK) Telegraph takes the long view examining books about the history of gardening (Jane Brown's Tales of the Rose Tree, David Stuart's Dangerous Garden, and Benjamin Woolley's The Herbalist):

The first great garden historian, Alicia Amherst, was a woman. Is that merely a coincidence?" Amherst's History of Gardening in England was published in 1895; half a century earlier Jane Loudon, the wife of the horticultural expert JC Loudon, was attending to practical matters in her Lady's Magazine of Gardening and many books addressed specifically to women gardeners.

Closer to home, the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader reviews Andrew Wilson's Influential Gardeners: The Designers Who Shaped 20th-Century Garden Style:

Color, planting, concept, form, structure, texture and materials are all basic to the art and craft of garden style. As book chapters, they sort out the strengths of 56 great garden designers and landscape architects from the past century.

Posted at May 18, 2004 08:56 PM | az