A new collection of essays by one of America"s premier garden writers
From her vantage point as an octogenarian gardener, Elisabeth Sheldon knows that one of the most important elements in the making of a garden is the passage of time. This is true in the making of a gardener as well; no great gardener is young. Now, in Time and the Gardener, Sheldon brings this perspective to bear on the process of gardening, in discussions of her
favorite plants, and in a handful of portraits of some gardeners of yore.
Sheldon"s long life in gardening has yielded a plethora of lessons—for instance, novice gardeners should not take gardening books too seriously, gardeners should never berate themselves over plants that die, and gardening in deep woods can be remarkably satisfying. Sheldon is a plantswoman par excellence, and in Time and the Gardener she writes delightfully about many of her favorite plants—columbines, lysimachias, clematis, and astilbes. Even
gardeners in other times have inspired Sheldon, and in this book she gives us colorful portraits of Jane Loudon, Gertrude Jekyll, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and others.
Marvelously written yet intensely opinionated, witty, and wise, Time and the Gardener is vintage Sheldon and will appeal to her legions of fans.
Praise for Elisabeth Sheldon:
"Elisabeth Sheldon is one of the few writers whose work I clip and file. Some garden writers inform, some inspire; she does both."
—Pamela J. Harper, author of Designing with Perennials
"Elisabeth Sheldon is one of America"s great garden inspirations."
—Holly Shimizu, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Elisabeth Sheldon studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. She is the author of two books, The Flamboyant Garden and The Proper Garden, which won two awards from the Garden Writers of America
Association. Her writings have appeared in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and other magazines. She lives and gardens in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
"Passionate articulate gardeners make the best teachers, and Elisabeth Sheldon's many years on her hands and knees in the garden have given her a perspective on gardening and plants that is both inspiring and instructive. Wisdom is a commodity in short supply these days and Sheldon has it along with courage and a sense of humor."
-Lynden B. Miller, public garden designer
"Elisabeth Sheldon's collection of essays in Time and the Gardener are no-nonsense, honestly frank, yet warmly passionate in this retrospective look at her decades-long love affair with flowers and gardening."
-Bobby J. Ward, author of A Contemplation Upon Plants
"Elisabeth Sheldon is an extraordinary gardener, writer, and designer. This book reveals her humor, honesty, and intense curiosity about plants, gardens, and some of the people who share her passion. Reading her collection of essays is the next best thing to having a leisurely tour through her garden with time for reflections on her life and the garden"s place in it. Time and the Gardener is a beautifully written treasure."
-Nancy Goodwin, co-author of A Year in Our Gardens
"Elisabeth Sheldon offers everything one could want in a garden writer. Her fine prose achieves poignant lyricism on one page, and mordant humor on the next. Her scholar¹s mind presents information with lucidity, but every fact and opinion is tested against her own vast experience. She never scolds or intimidates - or worse - talks down to her readers. That is the loveliest compliment. For who, really, can match her in experience, or in her passion for gardening? Readers of her previous books should be very glad for this one, which she is publishing at the age of 85, and which is as good as it gets."
-Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd, authors of A Year at North Hill
"Time and the Gardener is a treasury of garden wisdom by a seasoned gardener who is companionable, amusing, and full of surprises. I'm sure Gertrude Jekyll would have enjoyed visiting her garden-- wish I could be a fly on the tree trunk at that tea party!"
-Diane Ackerman, author of Cultivating Delight
"Lovely and lyrical, Sheldon"s prose is enough to boost even the most dedicated armchair gardener from his or her seat and into the garden. Not since Thalassa Cruso has there been such a lucent, informative voice."
-Michael Weishan, Host, PBS-TV"s The Victory Garden; Gardening Editor, Country Living Magazine
"Elisabeth Sheldon's elegant prose is always a pleasure to read. In these essays she shares, with infectious joy, knowledge gained through decades of study and hands-on gardening."
- Pamela Harper, author of Time Tested Plants
"Looking back on a life of gardening, Elisabeth Sheldon shares her insightful opinions, practical knowledge of gardening, and fun yet definitive plant information that all come from dedicated experience. This book will make any gardener smile."
-Holly H. Shimizu, Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden
"Time and the Gardener is an entertaining and highly educational book from a real American gardener who is a plantswoman and real writer. Sheldon"s garden is in a beautiful but tough spot high above one of the Finger Lakes of New York State. Thus, she has dealt with problems all of us face. And she has written one of the handiest and most enjoyable garden books of our era. A good read!"
-Gregory Long, president, The New York Botanical Garden
"Though in her eighties, Sheldon still gardens in the Finger Lakes region of New York and shares a lifetime of knowledge and observations in a collection sure to please her fans. . . Sheldon writes engagingly, and more important, her prose sparkles with common sense. Recommended for all libraries."
"Elisabeth Sheldon is one of the few writers whose work I clip and file. Some garden writers inform, some inspire; she does both."Pamela J. Harper, author of Designing with Perennials
Marvelously written yet intensely opinionated, witty, and wise, this is vintage Sheldon as she writes about how gardening has enriched her life.