Beatrix Potters Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Childrens Tales
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The Hill Top garden was at its August peak; the tour was engaging. I learned that day that Beatrix Potter was a gardener. I garden, though some days I feel that I do most of my gardening at the keyboard. I am intrigued by writers who garden and by gardeners who write. The pen and the trowel are not interchangeable, but seem often linked.
Emily Dickinson, poet and gardener, has long been an obsession of mine. Edith Wharton interests me, and Jane Austen, both novelists with a gardening bent.
Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life
I once read all of Nathaniel Hawthorne, winnowing his words for horticultural references. Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West also oblige. And now there was Beatrix Potter. So Beatrix Potter and the idea of her garden simmered quietly at the back of my mind. Miss Potter , a Hollywood film, came and went.
An adroit article by Peter Parker appeared in the gardening journal Hortus. The simmer turned to a boil. A few explanatory notes. You may be relieved or perturbed, depending on your druthers, that I have avoided botanical names in most of the book. For those of you who are looking for these particulars, you will find lists of the plants she grew, wrote about, and illustrated, including their proper nomenclature, at the end of the book.
Her grammar, punctuation, and spelling were loose, particularly in her letters, but they are reproduced as she wrote them. I would encourage you to have copies of her Tales at hand. The stories with their illustrations are a joy to read.
They will increase your understanding of both Beatrix Potter and her gardens. In terms of her own name, I must beg her pardon on two counts. First, for taking the liberty of referring to her by her Christian name, I plead twenty-first-century customs. Part Two follows Beatrix Potter through a year in her gardens. When she lived with her husband at Castle Cottage, it is not always clear whether she and her correspondents are discussing the garden there or across the road at Hill Top Farm. So in describing the progress of her gardens through the seasons I hope I will be forgiven for smudging the lines a bit, as her efforts and enjoyment encompassed both.
Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children's Tales
The gardens at Hill Top Farm alone would merit a visit, and there are many other gardens and landscapes that still have echoes of her. See All Customer Reviews.
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