Sunday, January 23, 2011

Inspiration - British Gardens

It's January and I'm sure I'm not alone in needing a bit of garden cheer to get me through the winter.   I have two books to recommend today about gardens.  The first is about one of the most famous gardens in Britain, Sissinghurst.   The second is about a fictitious garden in Cornwall.   They both make me very happy.  Links at the bottom of the page.

Gardening at Sissinghurst, by Tony Lord, is a beautiful description of the garden rooms at Sissinghurst estate, which was owned and landscaped by Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson.   The photos are wonderful and the descriptions of the estate and her gardening and design methods are very instructive for those of you who love gardening and garden design.   I noticed when I was linking this book that there are several other books out there now about Sissinghurst, so if you fall in love with this garden, there's plenty more to read about it.

I love stories about less than perfect, less than beautiful people finding themselves in situations where they have the chance to believe and follow a dream.  I also love gardens.  Nancy Atherton is the author of this series of mysteries featuring  the supernatural Aunt Dimity, who continues on after her death to watch over her friends and family.  Aunt Dimity and the Duke is the second of the books published in the series, but the first chronologically in the stories, and it's the only one I really consider a gem.  I smile all the way through this book, every time.  It's about a middle aged gardener starting over, a stained glass window, a magic lantern and the restoration of an old garden inside the marvelous grounds of a Cornish estate.  It is the literary equivalent of a chic flick, but if you need a little dose of optimism and a happy ending, then I highly recommend it.


  1. Thanks for the recommendations. Have you been to Sissinghurst? Just wondering. I haven't.

  2. Oh my goodness, I am so excited that you have your own blog!!! I am excited to read writings, you are incredible.

  3. HAH! Check you out. Just out of the gate and already attracting followers. Maybe I should go into the prophecy business . . .

  4. LOOOOOOVVVEEEE this! You are a good writer, my dear! :)

  5. Thanks for commenting, you guys!
    Caleb - I haven't been to Sissinghurst. Some day....and there are some fab American gardens I need to get to, too.
    Russo - You guys were having so much fun I couldn't resist trying it out. I'm glad to see you here.
    Janiel - You were right!
    JE - Thank you!


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