About the book..
Penelope Lively has always been a keen gardener. This book is partly a memoir of her own life in gardens: the large garden at home in Cairo where she spent most of her childhood, her grandmother’s garden in a sloping Somerset field, then two successive Oxfordshire gardens of her own, and the smaller urban garden in the North London home she lives in today.
It is also a wise, engaging and far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature, from Paradise Lost to Alice in Wonderland, and of writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin.
Published by Fig Tree Books
An absolute delight to read! From the stunning front cover to the beautifully simple illustrations inside, this is the book that is perfect for all gardening addicts, like myself! It was fascinating to read the authors take on how the ways of gardening is portrayed in books through the eyes of many different authors, alongside her own recollections of her time spent gardening in a variety of countries in plots of varying sizes.
It is always nice to read a book by an author who understands the subject and it is clear in reading this, that the author ‘gets’ the pleasure that gardening brings, alongside its’ many quirky elements, favourite plants etc, and I found myself nodding along in agreement and chuckling at many of her observations. She discusses a variety of gardening subjects such as how fashion dictates what we plant, the differences between town and country gardens and how the gardener is able to appreciate the simpler things in life.