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Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden (Gardening)by Eleanor Perenyi
Synopses & Reviews
A classic in the literature of the garden, Green Thoughts is a beautifully written and highly original collection of seventy-two essays, alphabetically arranged, on topics ranging from “Annuals” and “Artichokes” to “Weeds” and “Wildflowers.” An amateur gardener for over thirty years, Eleanor Perényi draws upon her wide-ranging knowledge of gardening lore to create a delightful, witty blend of how-to advice, informed opinion, historical insight, and philosophical musing. There are entries in praise of earthworms and in protest of rock gardens, a treatise on the sexual politics of tending plants, and a paean to the salubrious effect of gardening (see “Longevity”). Twenty years after its initial publication, Green Thoughts remains as much a joy to read as ever.
This Modern Library edition is published with a new Introduction by Allen Lacy, former gardening columnist for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and the author of numerous gardening books.
A collection of essays, alphabetically arranged, on topics ranging from "Annuals" to "Wild Flowers" and interspersed with all sorts of unusual ones — "Earthworms, " "Longevity, " "Mazes, " "Standards, " and "Treehouses" to name only a few. In "Earthworms, " Perenyi asserts her affection for them and their usefulness in fertilizing and aerating the soil. "Longevity" is a paean to the salubrious effects of gardening. Intertwined throughout are amusing and intriguing bits of information about gardens and gardeners in history and in literature. Green Thoughts is a classic example of the personal and thought-provoking genre of garden writing that is the hallmark of the American tradition.
About the Author
Eleanor Perényi was for many years the managing editor of Mademoiselle, an editor at Harpers Bazaar, and a contributor to The Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, and Esquire magazines. She is the author of a biography of Franz Liszt, which was nominated for a National Book Award, and More Was Lost, a memoir of her marriage to a Hungarian baron. She lives on the Connecticut coast.
Michael Pollan is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Botany of Desire and Second Nature, named one of the best gardening books of the twentieth century by the American Horticultural Society. He is a contributing editor to Harpers magazine and a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Pollan chose the books for the Modern Library Gardening series because, as he writes, “these writers are some of the great talkers in the rich, provocative, and frequently uproarious conversation that, metaphorically at least, has been taking place over the back fence of our gardens at least since the time of Pliny.”
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