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A Gentle Plea For Chaos: Reissued

In this book the author describes the way her garden evolved and how, without meaning to do so, she let it take over her life. She suggests moving away from planning, regimentation and gardening with the mentality of a stamp-collector. Frequently funny and always stimulating, she writes of the alchemy of gardens, of the 19th-century plant-collectors and plant illustrators and of the gardening philosophers, all fertilizing great thoughts along with their hollyhocks.

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Reprint edition (October 11, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1408817896

ISBN-13: 978-1408817896

Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches

Shipping Weight: 5 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,991,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #95 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > English Gardens #479 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays #1805 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Garden Design

On the enchantment of gardening, Mirabel Osler writes, "Somewhere, invisibly and very powerfully, I am being got at by something very pushy...I know that when I walk into my garden and start working, I am drawn across an invisible threshold I never knew existed until I began to grovel." Warm and insightful, this book belongs with the classics of garden literature.

Chaos in the garden? That's something I can relate to, so this title grabbed my attention. The photo of the author on the back cover depicts a middle-aged woman, barefooted and wearing a straw hat and a frumpy outfit backed by ferns. What the photo could not convey was that what the author might lack in fashion sense, she more than made up for in literary style. As a garden writer, I've quoted frequently from these eloquent pages.

This account of one couple's experience in creating their garden in the English countryside is entertaining and afforded me many opportunities to think, " Isn't that just the way it is!" But imagining all the physical work they supposedly did on their own really exhausted me. I do really appreciate their approval of letting plants be "natural" to their surroundings and like its justification of the lovely mess I keep.

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