Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Eminent Garden People


ISBN:13: 978-0-500-51353-8

Many people (I mean Garden People, of course), are fascinated with Garden Personalities. I am amongst those that seek out information about these formidable men and women who have influenced me through their writing about gardens and gardening.

However, I sometimes wonder if this just another form of the 'personality cult' that grips contemporary society? But on further examination I feel that the fixation on distinctive personalities is more than that of a mere fan, but is an affectionate respect for a teacher and mentor.

They are opinionated and passionate and happy to spread that enthusiasm around; they give us technical information, how to prune Clematis or when to plant Galanthus, but also we learn from them an enlightened attitude towards seeing, creating and the delight in the Art and Craft of gardening, not so much of 'how to', but more the 'why?'.

9 comments:

Teza said...

Barry:
So nice to see that we are a growing breed - those interested in garden personalities. I love the essays that give the 'why' behind their desire to create a garden in the first place as well. Heaven knows there are enough how to books out there, but we need more 'why did I start' books so that we [they] can inspire new generations of gardeners. Another book added to a list that might possibly supercede my Wishlist for plants this year!

Edith Hope said...

Dear Barry, Although I met with Ursula Buchan at a gathering some nine years or so ago,and have followed her writings closely ever since, for some reason this particular book of hers was unknown to me until you mentioned it the other day.

Like you, as I am sure you realise, I have a fascination with these notable figures from the gardening world whose work I feel deserves contemporary exposure. I had thought to make mention of some on occasion in future postings. They are not all necessarily eminent, but all are interesting.

Barry Parker said...

Teza:
Maybe we should have started this discussion earlier and taken advantage of those long winter nights to catch up on our reading. Already the days seem longer and the sun stronger ( the vents opened on my greenhouse last week on a particularly sunny day.

Barry Parker said...

Dear Edith,
Yes, perhaps eminent is too strong a word, implying a certain respectability. I think that Cedric Morris would, for one, laugh at such a suggestion. But I suppose they were eminent in the gardening world, even if they were unconventional in public life.
I look forward to your future postings about these notable, or at least interesting gardeners.

Barry Parker said...

I realize now why I tacked on 'eminent' to the title of my post. It was some memory at the back of my head of "Eminent Gardeners" by Jane Brown!

kilbournegrove said...

Barry, this book looks fascinating. I am very interested in gardening personalities, lots of time, they are more interesting than their gardens.
Deborah

Barry Parker said...

Hey Deborah, I think the fascination is shared by many of us garden geeks. Perhaps we often recognize something of ourselves in these characters.

Teza said...

Barry:
Indeed, my mind seems to be focusing rather ethnocentrically on England at the moment, when rightfully so, as you make point, Wales, Scotland, and indeed Ireland [the one place in the world I must see before slipping this mortal coil!] do indeed offer some of the world's best garden. Please take no offense of this faux pas!

Barry Parker said...

Teza., Not offense taken. Just wanted to set the record straight.