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Down the Garden Pathby Beverley Nichols
Synopses & Reviews
Down the Garden Path has stood the test of time as one of the world's best-loved and most-quoted gardening books. Ostensibly an account of the creation of a garden in Huntingdonshire in the 1930s, it is really about the underlying emotions and obsessions for which gardening is just a cover story. The secret of this book's success — and its timelessness — is that it does not seek to impress the reader with a wealth of expert knowledge or advice. Beverley Nichols proudly declares his status as a newcomer to gardening: The best gardening books should be written by those who still have to search their brains for the honeysuckle's languid Latin name.
As unforgettable as the plants in the garden is the cast of visitors and neighbors who invariably turn up at inopportune moments. For every angelic Miss Hazlitt there is an insufferable Miss Wilkins waiting in the wings. For every thought-provoking Professor, there is an intrusive Miss M, whose chief offense may be that she is a "damnably efficient" gardener. From a disaster building a rock garden, to further adventures with greenhouses, woodland gardens, not to mention cats and treacle, Nichols has left us a true gardening classic.
"This semiautobiographical story, of Nichols' first bumbling efforts at transforming a neglected property into a garden, was an immediate success and still rings true with amateur gardeners today." Bloomsbury Review
"You will definitely be reminded of 'why' you garden. No wonder this book has for so many years been one of the world's best-loved and most-quoted gardening books." Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer
"Nichols has a wicked sense of humor. I highly recommend this book as a means of relaxing after a hard day and having a good laugh." Buckeye
Book News Annotation:
Nichols (1898-1983) was a prolific writer on a range of subjects, including a number of gardening books. This text is a facsimile of the original edition of his first gardening book, published in 1932 (Jonathan Cape). Nichols gives a narrative account of the creation of a garden at his home in Huntingdonshire, UK, in the 1930s, which includes references to both plants and people--real persons and fictionalized versions of people he knew. A new foreword by British broadcaster, critic, lecturer, and author Bryan Connon, provides background on Nichols' transition from a jazz-age playboy in the 1920s to gardener and author.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Down the Garden Path has stood the test of time as one of the world's best-loved and most-quoted gardening books. From a disaster building a rock garden, to further adventures with greenhouses, woodland gardens, not to mention cats and treacle, Nichols has left us a true gardening classic.
About the Author
Nichols was a prolific writer perhaps best remembered for his gardening books.
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