Monday, 5 February 2018

Life in the garden

The two central activities in my life -
alongside writing -
have been reading and gardening.                 
                                       Penelope Lively         

Life in the Garden is the title of the book by Booker prize-winning author, Penelope Lively.
She has long been a hero of mine (or 'shero' as the late lamented Julia Darling would have said) and,
as I am reading this memoir of her own life in gardens, I am  reminded of the many and glorious gardens that I have visited over the last 40 years or so.

Penelope's book covers not only her own personal gardens but it is an exploration of gardens in literature which is also a hobby of mine. I love reading novels in which gardens and plants play a major role.

As well as children's  books - Tom's Midnight Garden, The Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland etc  - there are many enjoyable and  inspirational novels in which the sense of place is most skilfully evoked by reference to gardens - too many indeed to list here - but I must highlight books by two  novelist friends of mine, Honesty's Daughter by Wendy Robertson and The Orchid House by Avril Joy. If you enjoy gardens in literature why not give them a try, especially as the weather dictates that armchair gardening is the preferred exercise this February?

Happy Reading!

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