Monday, May 1, 2017

Rainy Day Reading

Since the weather has chosen to turn cold and miserably wet the past few days (and off and on for the past month), ProfessorRoush has been catching up on his garden reading.  To be truthful, I'm aching to drown myself in a good story, so I'm also watching less television in favor of losing myself in the thoughts of others.   To ensure my enjoyment, I turned back to some garden classics and purchased two of Beverly Nichols wonderful books.

If you have overlooked Beverly Nichols, I'd encourage you to seek out any of his garden-centered books you can find.  Nichols was an English bachelor gentleman from another age, cultured and clever, and his writing is incredibly fluid and floral.   I  read several of his books some years ago from the local library, but I just finished Laughter on the Stairs, and am half through Sunlight on the Lawn, the 2nd and 3rd of the "Merry Hall" series.  

 Laughter on the Stairs is focused on the Merry Hall Estate and the semi-fictional characters of Mr. Nichols' dry wit, but gardening is sprinkled throughout, especially in the last pair of chapters titled The Flower Show; Acts One and Two.  Reading Nichols, I find myself slowing down from my normal speed-reading pace, and savoring his sentences.  For example, the following passage from Laughter on the Stairs:

"I heard a timid voice asking if I would like a glass of elderberry wine.  Yes, I said, I should like it very much.  Which was quite untrue, for though elderberry wine is a most melodious title, though it has a music which would have delighted Keats, it is, in practice, like extremely disgusting invalid port.  However, I drank it with a will, on this occasion, out of a thin and elegant sherry glass, in tribute to a brave little lady who had nobody to care for her."

Another of my readings was encouraged by the recent release of Potted and Pruned, by garden blogger Carol J. Michel, author of the blog May Dreams Gardens and a Hoosier, as I once was.  Carol was kind enough to offer autographed copies on personal contact, and this book therefore fills two spots in my library, both garden-related and autographed.   Books like Carol's, and my own, are probably inevitable extensions of our garden blogs.

 Potted and Pruned is a collection of 36 garden essays, each a gem with something to offer everyone.  My personal favorites were Chapter 4 All Gardeners Are Delusional, Chapter 21 GADS (Garden Attention Distraction Syndrome), and Chapter 29 Time in a Garden.  And for those who care about classification, after reading Chapter 24, Buying Shrubs, I found that I would classify as a Gardener, a category which combines the worst characteristics of Experimenters, Grabbers, Rescuers and Researchers.  Read Potted and Pruned and you'll find out what else Carol thinks about the motivations of plant purchasers.         

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest in my blog. I like to meet friends via my blog, so I try to respond if you comment from a valid email address rather than the anonymous And thanks again for reading!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...