This is an exceptional collection of articles by Katherine S. White. Her style is engaging, her content is challenging. Be prepared to have the dictionary close at hand to look up words such as 'transmogrification'. The articles were written over a period of time between 1958 and 1970, but are as fresh and vibrant today as the day they were first published.
I particularly enjoy her opinions about new and improved cultivated varieties of plants such as marigold, zinnia and the like. Much of what she objected to is still practiced today: hybridists take a perfectly good plant and turn it into something almost grotesque. I don't see the attraction, but I am thankful for the diversity in the world that allows "to each his own".
White writes about a wide range of subjects and presents her research on such topics as the origin of lawns and the history of flower arrangement. Her comments on the modern hybrid tea rose are too good to miss.
I appreciate her wit and her insights regarding seed and plant catalogs (or, as she spells it, catalogues), many of the marketing strategies she commented on then are still in use today in print catalogs and on the internet.
I grew up in a household that delighted in many of the writers whose pieces appeared in The New Yorker and am pleased to have this book in my library.
"Onward and Upward in the Garden" is a Beacon Press re-issue of a garden literature classic: the collection of fourteen essays written for The New Yorker by Katherine White, an editor for the magazine, and compiled and edited by her husband, E. B. White, and first published in book form in 1958.
If you are interested in deepening your knowledge of the 20th Century history of gardening in the United States and its personalities and making a new gardening (virtual) friend of Mrs. White, then be sure to read this book. As one would expect, she is an excellent writer and delightful person and her book is a good 'read'. A special bonus is the afterward by popular New Yorker writer Jamaica Kincade. Enjoy.