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One Man's Garden [Format Kindle]

Henry Mitchell

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Descriptions du produit

Mitchell is a miracle in the world of garden writing, where so much careful prose instructs with patronizing intent. Henry Mitchell blazes, bullies, roars, then whispers, awed by the beauty he enables us to see through his eyes. This is a man who once took two weeks off from work so that he could watch his iris bloom. Here his failures and foibles are cataloged along with his triumphant successes. He grew water lilies from seed, achieving a single plant instead of the expected 50, but as he admits, 50 would really have been a bit much, while one seedling water lily became a source of considerable delight to the proud parent. To prevent heat stroke in water-lily season (Washington, D.C., summers are fierce), he cooled off by eating iced Walla Walla onion sandwiches as he gazed at the flowers for two or three minutes at a stretch before the intense heat won out. Quirky, funny, wise, and impassioned, this book is a lasting treat, the kind that rewards each year's rereading with fresh insights and heartfelt laughter.

From Publishers Weekly

Washington Post columnist Mitchell ( The Essential Earthman ) brings together a year's worth of wry observations about the peculiarities and pleasures of gardening in this anthology. His book, designed primarily for small town gardens of less than a quarter-acre, and written from the relatively balmy perspective of Washington, D.C. (climatic zone 5), is the perfect makings of a winter read for those planning next year's garden. Mitchell's chatty style is entertaining as well as informative, and he mixes details of garden advice with liberal doses of Johnsonian philosophy, appropriately noting the vanity of human wishes, the defeat of a gardener's best intentions, and the joy of the unexpected and unplanned. While it contains some unnecessary repetition (perhaps less noticeable when the material was published as a weekly column), the collection manages to include a surprising range of topics, plants and personal asides. Water gardeners in particular will enjoy Mitchell's obsession with water lilies, other aquatic plants and fish. Other essays touch on wildlife in town gardens, and the ineradicable nature of bindweed. The book is divided into 12 chapters corresponding to months of the year, each introduced with an attractive line drawing by Susan Davis.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3642 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 272 pages
  • Editeur : Mariner Books; Édition : 1st Mariner Books Ed (14 avril 1999)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004H1UEZY
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°522.092 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.6 étoiles sur 5  14 commentaires
30 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gardening essays to beat the winter blahs.... 21 janvier 2001
Par Dianne Foster - Publié sur
Okay, it's the middle of winter, Christmas is past, and now is the time to break out the gardening catalogs and begin plotting the new growing year. According to Henry Mitchell, we can enjoy the garden year-round if we plan strategically and the middle of winter is a good time to begin.
Mr. Mitchell wrote two weekly columns for the Washington Post for a number of years--one of them a garden column I never missed reading. His garden columns have been preserved in several books. ONE MAN'S GARDEN follows his first book THE ESSENTIAL EARTHMAN which spread his well-earned reputation as a garden guru far beyond the Post market area. These two books were published while he was alive so one must assume they were collections of his favorite essays. The essays are arranged by season and correspond to the months he wrote them.
Mitchell can be read by gardeners living anywhere. Although his essays contain information helpful to those working in Zone 7, the reader can glean sage advice applicable anywhere. He shares anecdotes about his experiences in his own backyard, and while that might seem far from novel as every other Tom, Dick, and Henrietta is writing a garden book these days, his essays are the best. His writing is funny, philosophical, useful, and a joy to read, especially on a cold winter day when you need to be reminded of irridescent dragonflies hovering over lily ponds (former horse troughs).
In his essay on dragonfiles (July) he informs us they require lily pads for landing, they can't just plop on the water like a pelican. This little item helped me understand I needed to do more to make my back yard friendly to butterflies, dragon flies, and their insect kin. I now have shallow spots in my birdbaths where they can dip their tiny feet.
Mr. Mitchell shares all sorts of interesting insights from his adventures with clinging vines--planting them where they will not grow, growing native variants such as the American Wisteria. The American Wisteria is often overlooked by those who grow the "Oriental" kind from China which Mitchell says if left untended can form a 20-foot clump in the middle of your yard. The Chinese Wisteria is very ornate, and the U.S. Park Service has planted it all over the National Gallery of Art on the Mall, but the American Wisteria is a pretty little thing better suited for the back yard. Mitchell says you can see this Wisteria in bloom at the Henry Botanical Foundation in Philadelphia.
Mitchell's essays range far and near, from Jefferson at Monticello to flower shows in faraway places. He writes in December of bananas, not a local plant in Zone 7 by any means, but one Mitchell considered a "great good plant" nevertheless and he grows one in his back yard in a pot. Although MItchell died several years ago, his essays are every bit as timely useful and funny as ever, and not to be missed.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book is a delight 17 janvier 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
This book is a delight and a pleasure to read aloud. The author has helped us focus on spring planting even though the wind chill factor has been -35 degrees most of the weekend. One Man's Garden helps "cure" the cabin fever that rages at this time of year in the northeast. Well worth the money it's a refreshing window into the love of gardening.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Simply, the best 21 janvier 2007
Par good cook - Publié sur
This collection of Henry Mitchell's essays, mostly from his Washington Post gardening column, should stand as an example of how to write. Mr. Mitchell wrote as he spoke; simply, but eloquently and with a wink. His wry sense of humor and disdain for posturing are evident throughout his work. I believe his essay on sunflowers to be the most enjoyable piece of garden writing in existence.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Fine and Wonderful Madness 6 décembre 2013
Par Owl - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
'A gardening friend of mine has quite lost her mind---not that it distresses her much---and no longer makes an effort to conceal her madness." So begins one of my favorites, "How the garden grows and grows," among Henry Mitchell's essays.

There were about 3,000 of them over the 20 years in which he wrote the Washington Post's Sunday Earthman column. I used to read Earthman even before "Prince Valiant," even before the Herblock political cartoon, and even before the book reviews and the editorial pages. It is glorious to report that "How the garden grows and grows" is included in the ninety gardening delights in "One Man's Garden."

The essays are arranged in 12 sections, using the tried-and-generally-true approach of sharing what is happening each month of the year. Thus for June, the essay titles are:

--Roses, the secrets of success
--The right bedfellows for roses
--I try not to do stupid things
--Foliage for nooks and crannies
--Daylilies by the bouquetful (he was quite addicted to puns)
--Small gardens: the big picture
--The grand and noble magnolia

Mitchell's essays are lively first person stories, rich with opinion and information. For example, he was slaughterous regarding Norway maples and disdained spraying to control bugs and weeds. His article on "Staying in the pink" emphasizing carnations' strong preference for a gravelly, dry soil and their other foibles may help newish gardeners reach their hearts content as to these charming clove-scented flowers.

He clearly had a long affair with iris, not at all clandestine, which contributed to his advocacy of planting a lot of what makes you happy even if it blooms only a few weeks each year. He knew full well gardens are not only place of joy & life, but also struggle & death, and shared his more shadowed feelings.

And so on and on and mostly happily on to December, where Earthman suggests "Gifts for the gardener," ending with

"I never knew anyone easier to please than myself or the guys I know. Someone once gave my wife and me an old Meissen soup tureen that thrilled my wife witless for a month. It was lovely and most generous and I like to see people happy, but, my G*d, do you have any idea how much rabbit wire you could buy?" (p. 254)

Reader Alert: As these examples suggest, this is not a how-to book on gardening. The 3 or 4 page essays, adapted from the newspaper columns, are too brief, the organization is not sufficiently sequential for a how-to, nor are topics adequately covered. The nuggets throughout, however, can help make us better gardeners and better persons.

There is an index which splendidly locates the specific plants that happen to be discussed (both botanical and common names) and honest as to what else is considered: thus, 13 entries on water lilies and two on wisterias, one entry on pruning and 14 on soil. Readers who want to learn more adequately about lilies, wisterias, pruning, soil and such will have to find in-depth, specialized books on these topics.

Also, although this book was copyrighted in 1992, the articles may go back to 1975, and reflect plants available then, not those available now some of which may have more admirable habits or features. (The date when each article first appeared is not given. It should be.) And while many essays transcend space and time, such as Mitchell's recollections of the gardens of his southern youth, he mostly gardened in Zone 7.

No matter, really. "How the garden grows and grows" is among my favorites because it encapsulates Mitchell's own passion for gardening in his quarter-acre Washington D.C. home. The lady of whom he spoke was besotted with plants, wanting to grow them all even to the point of accepting a sequoia seedling. Although Mitchell advocated looking on gardens more architecturally than botanically, his own stories make clear he was perpetually re-arranging the furniture, trying out this rose here and that crinum there. Many gardeners may recognize a fellow spirit, rejoicing in his wit---he was often a very funny writer---wisdom, and humanity,

Highly recommended for readers who like to garden or gardeners who like to read in any zone whatsoever.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Relax: triumphs, trials & errors make you a gardener 27 décembre 2009
Par Leslie Frates - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A great gift for serious gardeners or newbie gardeners like myself looking to learn more and understand the trials, triumphs, and errors that all gardeners make. Mitchell has an appealing down to earth style of writing that made me nod in agreement, smile and even laugh out loud at times. If you know your plant taxonomy, it will make reading this book more enjoyable. Mitchell often refers to various plants by their genus. For example, knowing what plants constitute the genus epimedium, commonly called fairy wings, will make Mitchell's comments both more instructive, and at times, even more humorous. Reading this gave me pleasure and will hopefully help me to relax and enjoy my garden more -- Mitchell makes clear that great gardeners understand that the joy in gardening is about the process, not the finished product, because there will always be a new plant to try or a plant to move to a "better" place.
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