This engaging collection of letters follows the course of a year in the gardens of two passionate gardeners, Nancy Goodwin and Allen Lacy. They share a climate zone (7A), but their gardens differ enormously. Lacy gardens on a 100-by-155-foot plot of former farmland in southern New Jersey, on soil so sandy that he must water frequently if he is to garden at all. Goodwin gardens on rich clay loam at her historic piedmont North Carolina home--which comprises more than sixty acres of woodland, meadow, and established plantings--and she refuses to irrigate, because she believes in growing only those plants that are naturally adapted to the conditions of her land.
Through their letters, Lacy and Goodwin provide a charming and revealing chronicle of their lives and the lives of their gardens. They exchange stories of their horticultural successes and failures; trade information about a great many plants; discuss their hopes, fears, and inspirations; and muse on the connections between gardening and music, family, and friendship.
First Time i read about Nancy Goodwin and her love of cyclamens in the woodland part of her Montrose Garden was on the Duke University Site and i want to read this book as fast as i can. Also it has been a great surprise to share her garden letters with Allan Lacy and his Linwood Garden, which is a private one.
I like to go through the book with the seasons which are painted in the most colourful ways - with weather changings as well as different kind of moods.
Each chapter has a very nice layout with personal picture engravings of serveral garden items - i like it very much.
By the way the correspondence showed a rich life and very great persons. Indeed one of my favorite garden books.
A wonderful read. I enjoyed reading how the two zone 7A gardens (I claim zone 7 as mine also, whether or not it is in truth) differed. Although Lacy always has wonderful things to write about in all his books, it was especially a treat to read Nancy Goodwin's letters. I've read so much about Montrose on the internet and in various books, it was a pleasure to read about it from the source. What a shame it's no longer a mail order nursery! Her woodland plantings were vividly painted in her letters, as were all the ups and downs of maintaining the gardens.
I like to "hear" how accomplished gardeners overcome their obstacles and mistakes as well as read about their successes. A good many ideas on planting and what I might want to plant were in this book.