Dear Friend and Gardener (Anglais) Relié – 2 avril 1998
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
... a delightful collection of letters ... offers a unique insight into their successes and failures. Candid, amusing, revealing and informative(Daily Telegraph )
My favourite read of the year is this entertaining correspondence between our two greatest living gardeners(Sunday Telegraph Magazine )
What links and distinguishes (in both senses) these two writers is that they never pass on a received opinion about a plant or gardening practice or theory. Everything they say is rooted firmly in observation and experience so their thoughts and opinions carry weight and value(Hardy Plant )
It is this book, I suspect, that many gardeners would most like to find at the ends of their beds when they wake up on Christmas morning(Independent on Sunday ) --Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph Magazine, Hardy Plant, Independent on Sunday --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
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Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Structurally, the book consists of about 300 pages of the familiar and never boring letters between these two old friends and master gardeners, custodians of two of England’s – and the world’s – greatest, most innovative and consistently interesting gardens. The letters cover the years 1996 and 1997, and this book is a new edition of the original one that was published in 1998. Like many garden books, and the gardening year itself, this book begins in January, with the correspondents looking closely into their gardens for signs of life and color: for spring, in a word. It is an intimate, wide-ranging portrait of two celebrated experts at the height of their craft and their letters are shot through with gardening insights and advice, gossip about other great gardeners, strong prejudices for and against plants of various kinds, grumbles about the weather and their nagging health issues, and so on.
Their affection, commitment, intelligence and endurance shine winningly through on every page. The inside covers feature plans of both of the famous gardens, his in the front and hers in the back, and two sections of a scant eight pages of color photos each make you wish for more, but both gardens have been extensively photographed for print and broadcast, and the verbal pictures included here are themselves extremely vivid and beautiful. A word of advice: keep Google Images or Wikipedia on hand while reading this book. Lloyd and Chatto are such immensely experienced plantsmen that they throw around plant names by the hundreds, and many are not going to be familiar to even very serious gardeners. It is a wonderful learning opportunity and you get so much more out of the discussion if you can see the qualities of the plants they are discussing.
Here are just a few highlights of the lively exchanges:
• A spat between the two over the use of chemicals in the garden – she is a nearly absolute prohibitionist, he is not.
• He visits gardening legend Rosemary Verey and she takes him to the Prince of Wales’ world-famous garden at Highgrove.
• About to receive an honorary doctorate from an English university, he has a new suit made for himself, near the end of his life, and jokingly calls it “my terminal suit”.
• Both echo every gardener’s lament that life is too short to learn the complicated craft of gardening: “We say ourselves that one lifetime is not half enough.”
• Lloyd’s interesting criticisms of Sissinghurst, having visited the world-famous garden after a long absence.
• Lovely and lively bird-watching and butterfly spotting, and many lively visits to the opera at Glyndbourne.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
And the food! These are gardeners who like to grow their own food and eat it with consummate relish. They are constantly talking about all the fresh vegetables they picked and how they prepared it for the table or the freezer, and how delicious it all was. Both write with an appealing zest for life and living, things that every gardener shares but in ways that few gardeners can match for experience and zeal. Remember how prominent writers of a generation or more ago (rarely now) would always publish their extensive correspondence, usually posthumously? Well, this is like that, only from the gardening point of view, and only the two of them are involved. Their letters are at turns opinionated, intelligent, funny, crotchety, gossipy, wistful and informative; but they are always interesting. This book provides a rare and delightful insight into two wonderful and complex personalities, and delivers in the end an irresistible compendium of their views on gardening and life.
The answer, of course, is that these are not "real" letters. They are merely a literary device suggested and edited by publishers. This was hinted at by Mr. Lloyd in his introduction but I didn't catch on until the very end when the "correspondence" drew to a close. I read the entire book under the impression that I was reading genuine letters originally written with no thought of future publication. Once it was revealed that the "letters" were written specifically to be published in book form, I felt cheated. It should have been clearly stated at the beginning that this is a collection of essays addressed to each other so that the reader is not led to think that s/he is about to be privy to something special.