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Vanished Gardens: Finding Nature in Philadelphia (Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creati)

Vanished Gardens: Finding Nature in Philadelphia (Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creati) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

New to living and gardening in Philadelphia, Sharon White begins a journey through the landscape of the city, past and present, in Vanished Gardens. In prose now as precise and considered as the paths in a parterre, now as flowing and lyrical as an Olmsted vista, White explores Philadelphia's gardens as a part of the city's ecosystem and animates the lives of individual gardeners and naturalists working in the area around her home.

In one section of the book, White tours the gardens of colonial botanist John Bartram; his wife, Ann; and their son, writer and naturalist William. Other chapters focus on Deborah Logan, who kept a record of her life on a large farm in the late eighteenth century, and Mary Gibson Henry, twentieth-century botanist, plant collector, and namesake of the lily Hymenocallis henryae. Throughout White weaves passages from diaries, letters, and memoirs from significant Philadephia gardeners into her own striking prose, transforming each place she examines into a palimpsest of the underlying earth and the human landscapes layered over it.

White gives a surprising portrait of the resilience and richness of the natural world in Philadelphia and of the ways that gardening can connect nature to urban space. She shows that although gardens may vanish forever, the meaning and solace inherent in the act of gardening are always waiting to be discovered anew.

About the Author

Sharon White is the author of a collection of poetry, Bone House. Her memoir, Field Notes: A Geography of Mourning, received the Julia Ward Howe Prize, Honorable Mention, from the Boston Author's Club. Some of her other awards include a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction, the Leeway Foundation Award for Achievement, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems, essays, and articles have appeared in many magazines and journals, including Isotope, House Beautiful, Appalachia, Kalliope, and North American Review. She teaches writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Table of Contents


1. Grapefruit 3

2. Boxwood 5

3. Daffodil 7

4. Hornbeam 13

5. Lemons 24

6. Wild Grasses 31

7. Tulip Tree 34

8. Catalpa 41

9. Water Lilies 45

10. Peony 49

11. Bamboo 53

12. Thistle 59

13. Snapdragon 63

14. Holly Tree 67

15. Elm 73

16. Skunk Cabbage 78


17. Pennyroyal 85

18. Marsh Grass 93

19. Oranges 100

20. Wild Rice 109

21. Bloodroot 112

22. Shadblow 116

23. The Lady Petre Pear Tree 118

24. Zinnia 120

25. Snowdrops 125

26. Columbine 132

27. Morning Glory 138

28. Mint 140

29. Sunflower 146

30. Poinsettia 151

31. Rose 155

32. Gingko 156


33. Auricula 161

34. Violets 169

35. Catkins 172

36. Honeysuckle 178

37. Franklinia 183

38. Carnations 192

39. Strawberry 194

Acknowledgments 197

Sources 199

Product Details

Finding Nature in Philadelphia
University o f Georgia Press
White, Sharon
Regional - Middle Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA)
Historic gardens - Pennsylvania -
Plants - Pennsylvania - Philadelphia
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction
Publication Date:
1 photo
8.5 x 5.5 in 0.97 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » Gardens of the United States
Home and Garden » Gardening » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » Writing
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference

Vanished Gardens: Finding Nature in Philadelphia (Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creati)
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Product details 216 pages University of Georgia Press - English 9780820331560 Reviews:
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