Synopses & Reviews
In this, the second volume of the Merry Hall trilogy, Nichols is less concerned with his garden and more with his house, but the story does include the memorable characters Our Rose, the ditzy floral designer, and the cantankerous gardener Oldfield.
"Be prepared. Beverley Nichols' garden books are part PG Wodehouse and part James Barrie — full of hilarious Jeeves-like characters and events, with moments of Peter Pan magic."
—Bob Cowden, Pacific Horticulture, Spring 2000 Pacific Horticulture
"[Nichols] the very model of gardening insouciance, ... wrote at least once about everything and ... is nearly the Bertie Wooster of gardening, and I say nearly only because some would consider it an insult to be called the Bertie Wooster of anything."
—Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times Book Review, December 1, 1998
"You'll find laughter on the stairs and everywhere else Nichols takes you as he renovates his old home and garden."
—Southern Living, Spring 1999 Southern Living
No more delightful garden-related books have ever been written than Nichols' accounts of the rescue and renovation of Merry Hall, a rundown Georgian mansion and its garden.
About the Author
Beverley Nichols (1898-1983) was a prolific writer on subjects ranging from religion to politics and travel, in addition to authoring six novels, five detective mysteries, four children's stories, six autobiographies, and six plays. He is perhaps best remembered today for his gardening books. The first of them, Down the Garden Path, centered on his home and garden at Glatton and has been in print almost continuously since 1932. Merry Hall (1951) and its sequels Laughter on the Stairs (1953) and Sunlight on the Lawn (1956) document Nichols' travails in renovating a Georgian mansion and its gardens soon after the war. His final garden was at Sudbrook Cottage, which serves as the setting for Garden Open Today (1963) and Garden Open Tomorrow (1968). The progress of all three gardens was followed avidly by readers of his books and weekly magazine columns.