Author and Journalist
Pleasures of the Garden
My collection of classic garden writing celebrates the garden as a place of solace in a busy world, a retreat for lovers and an earthly paradise. Gardens have been cherished in all times and cultures, and this anthology reveals a wide range of voices, from the classic to the little-known, the lyrical to the light-hearted. Fiction and poetry inspired by gardens - from The Secret Garden to the poems of Rudyard Kipling - are featured alongside letters and memoirs about the real gardens created and enjoyed by some of the world's greatest writers. The anthology threads its way from ancient Egypt to English suburbia, from Pliny in first-century Italy to Robert Louis Stevenson in nineteenth-century Hawaii. It admires a wide array of gardens, from the stately landscaped parks of Georgian England and the exquisite artificial gardens of Japan to the painterly Arts and Crafts gardens of Gertrude Jekyll. Many of the gardens described by writers from history can still be visited today, including those of William Morris, John Clare, Thomas Jefferson and Jane Austen, and this beautiful book is sure to be treasured by those who love to visit and read in gardens as well as those who tend their own. It is superbly illustrated throughout with garden and flower pictures from around the world and across the centuries.
Its contents are given weight by Christina Hardyment's intelligent selection of writings about gardens from the Garden of Eden to the Eden Project. Her anthology turns up surprises for even the best-read horticulturalist. Robin Lane-Fox, The Times
The World of Arthur Ransome (published 4 October 2012)