Winter is somehow perfect for celebrating (and curling up with) great garden books. Here are three classics and, if you’d like, tell us your picks in the comments below.
The Unsung Season: Gardens and Gardeners in Winter , by Sydney Eddison, Houghton Mifflin, 1995 – Includes three beautiful photo sections by Karen Bussolini. With a passion for winter beauty this author celebrates a wide variety of gardening and horticultural fun with greenhouses, sun rooms, vegetables in poly tunnels, and dried flowers in a number of colorful creations. Lots of inspiration for winter landscaping, wildlife, topiaries and formal gardens. My number one choice for practical (and beautiful) winter planning.
The 3,000 Mile Garden: An Exchange of Letters Between Two Eccentric Gourmet Gardeners , well-known classic, originally copyrighted in 1992 when letters were still written on paper and sent by stamp. I never tire of these lovingly crafted and thoughtful observations recorded by gardening friends Leslie Land and Roger Phillips, and their worlds of plants, country wisdom, unique recipes, and tales of their gardens in downtown London and rural Maine. Favorite subjects are wild food foraging, outdoor bread ovens, composting outhouses, and the fine art of public garden preservation. This book was also made into a popular PBS mini-series; if you see it playing in your part of the world, let us know!
A pressed flower of a book from another era, Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols, originally copyrighted in 1932 and still in print by Timber Press – An English humorist and imminently practical gardener, the writer tells of restoring a neglected country estate in England with the help of an eccentric, elderly gardener, a heroic butler, and despite the annoying and somewhat ridiculous neighbor ladies (picture flowered hats, sugar cubes, gloves, and tinkling teacups). All of Beverley Nichols’ books are keepsake collectibles, but this one has an interesting chapter or two called Winter Madness and includes a long list of flowers that bloom (Yes!) in Winter. As the writer says,
“… in the gathering darkness, with the high, strange wind roaring through the great elm branches above me, I saw the twigs of the witch hazel had broken into golden stars.
It was a miracle … There are more winter flowers, waiting around the corner. “
A few more favorite QUOTES on the subject of Winter …
“… a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.”
— Thomas de Quincey
“It was an amazing garden like nothing Will had ever seen. Everything was covered in snow and glittering ice, the winding paths, the clusters of trees and what looked like mazes. And here and there blue fountains splashed and a river meandered between them, though the water didn’t look like water at all but like a stream of sapphires. And strangest of all was how see-through everything looked, trees showing through trees, the river showing through heaps of snow. It was all like a daydream, half imagination, half reality. But Will knew that it was real.”
— Dew Pellucid The Sound And The Echoes
Care to share a favorite winter book or favorite winter quote in our comments section? We’ll have lots of fun reading them on winter nights!