Author(s): Robin Lane Fox
When we imagine heaven, we picture gardens. If there is a heaven with gardens, they must surely be like Vita Sackville-West's gardens at Sissinghurst. Mind you, when I read this book, I'm over-whelmed by a few sins, like greed and envy, and possibly lust, and I hope that doesn't disqualify me from heaven. I want gardens like these, never mind that the only thing green about me is envy, or that most of the plants won't grow in my climate.This is a selected collection of gardening articles Vita Sackville-West wrote for The Observer, and charmingly illustrated with photographs and coloured sketches. Although there are gardening tips, it's a book to be read for pleasure. She wrote passionately and we can recklessly follow in our imagination, if not in reality.
V. Sackville West's "The Illustrated Garden Book" 1989, Atheneum New York edition, is a joy to read in all seasons, a bedside book, an idea-book, a delight for eye and mind, as Sissinghurst itself is and as our own gardens can be. At used book prices, some as low as pennies, this is an extra-ordinary value not only for the contents (about 120 essays) but also for the fine quality of the paper, the care given to the lavishly reproduced colors of drawings & photographs, and the reader-friendly layout. It is not a detailed how-to book yet in every essay, readers who are not expert or professional plantswomen and men may find knowledge as well a great, very great, pleasure.