Throwback Thursday

Image result for cover image of LIFE IN THE GARDEN by Penelope Lively

With books and gardens on my mind, but fresh out of mad money and with public libraries closed in this time of pandemic, I resort to browsing my own bookshelves when Penelope Lively’s Life in the Garden catches my eye. It was just last year when I first discovered this writer and her lively stories that led me on to other garden books. My regular readers may recall the blog I posted in February 2019, “It’s Still Winter: Read Garden Books,” recounted here:

See the source image

“Have you ever noticed how one book seems to lead you on to the next one, and one after that? Garden writers, I’m thinking. Penelope Lively, for example, devotes a long chapter to renown English gardeners and garden writers Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West, and Virginia Woolf, among others. Our Elizabeth Lawrence of North Carolina made her list, too, so I re-visited her right away.

“For decades I have treasured her A Southern Garden and Through the Garden Gate. Lawrence inspired my own late-in-life venture into garden journaling and, consequently, this “Invitation to the Garden” blog series on Word Press.

Image result for cover image of A SOUTHERN GARDEN by Lawrence

“Last night I finished reading a genteel biography of Elizabeth Lawrence by Emily Herring Wilson, No One Gardens Alone.

Image result for cover image of NO ONE GARDENS ALONE by Emily Herring Wilson

“Next on my reading list, while I wait for the first crocus to poke up through brown bracken by my front door, is Caroline Zoob’s Virginia Woolf’s Garden at Monk’s Head.

Image result for cover image of VIRGINIA WOOLF'S GARDEN by Zoob

“I just hope that I can find Elizabeth Von Arnim’s Elizabeth & Her German Garden still in print, especially after Lively lavished such praise for it. Here is a Renoir-ish painting of von Arnim reading outside her door step with her faithful brown companion at her feet. Reminds me of my own spaniel with me in my summer garden.”

Image result for cover image of ELIZABETH & HER GERMAN GARDEN by von Arnim

POSTSCRIPT. I did find Elizabeth von Armin’s German garden book as well as A Trio of Stories: The Enchanted April & The Solitary Summer & Vera. You see? I tell myself. You don’t need to buy new books. Just revisit these delightful ones until the sun comes out again, even when (if) the pandemic is lifted. And continue to dig in your own garden. In fact, that’s where I’m going right now.



Just short of fifty years of holy matrimony, I am blessed to be a mother of two and grandmother of seven. Much of my writing speaks to the culture and tradition of the Deep South, where I spent the first thirty-five years of my life before relocating to the Pacific Northwest. As a poet and essayist, I’ve published both online and in print media. In mid-February 2019, I launched Roses in the Rain: A Daughter's Story, following a successful couple years of Invitation to the Garden, both on Watch for upcoming installments to the memoir blog every Tuesday. The garden posts follow on Friday/Saturday. I look forward to hearing from you all!

4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday”

  1. During the winter, I’d begun to think of passing along or donating several of my (over 800!) gardening books. Now, I think I’ll keep them all a while longer. Who knows when we will feel safe to travel again, if there is wave after wave…..

    Liked by 1 person

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