‘Wonderful. A manifesto of horticultural delight’ Literary Review
‘Beautiful. Perfect for literary garden lovers’ Good Housekeeping
‘Rich and unusual, a book to treasure. Few recent gardening books come anywhere close to its style, intelligence and depth’ Observer
‘The two central activities in my life – alongside writing – have been reading and gardening.’
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.
‘Exquisite and original’ Daily Telegraph
‘A gentle survey of the garden’s place in Western culture, which morphs into a personal meditation on time, memory and a life well lived’ i
‘Scholarly bedtime reading’ The Times, Books of the Year