Synopses & Reviews
-- The Literary Gardener is a loving marriage of the written word with beautiful vignettes of flowers, fruits, vegetables and grasses -- that captures the nurturing quality in nature that has inspired poets and writers and just plain folks for hundreds of years.
Walter Chandoha has been professionally photographing gardens for over twenty years, during which time, as a gardener himself, he graduated from planting to feed his family to planting for the sheer pleasure of seeing things grow. Today he lives and gardens on a 46-acre farm where the vegetable garden is interplanted with a wide variety of flowers and herbs. As he gardened, Chandoha also acquired a horticultural library -- books in print and out-of-print -- from which he culled the philosophies of gardening, the history and origins of plants, myths and folklore, medicinal qualities and monographs on single species. The writers he chose for The Literary Gardener are both classic and cotemporary, both garden writers and non-garden writers. Thomas Church, Vita Sackville-West and Gertrude Jekyll share space with Colette, Thomas Jefferson, Jerzy Kosinski, Ogden Nash, S.J. Perelman, even Edward Lear. Nor does Chandoha stop there-excerpting at times the words of good friends or captions from garden catalogs. Mixed and matched and unique -- like Chandoha's own vegetable garden.