Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Consolations of Enclosure

'Arctic' weather keeps me inside today, when I'm supposed to be helping in a friend's garden, and when I have a list of labours pending as long as my arm anyway. Here are some of the garden/landscape/nature books I especially like:

Seen here are: 1. In My Garden, by Christopher Lloyd. 2. The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben. 3. The Geography of Nowhere, by James Howard Kunstler. 4. In Pursuit of Plants, by Philip Short. 5. The Lost Gardens of Heligan, by Tim Smit. 6. The Generous Earth, by Philip Oyler. 7. Spirit: Garden Inspiration, by Dan Pearson. 8. Wildwood: a Journey through Trees, by Roger Deakin. 9. Finding Home: Writing on Nature and Culture From 'Orion' Magazine, edited by Peter Sauer. 10. A Writer's Britain ( Landscape in Literature ), by Margaret Drabble. 11. Rothschild's Reserves: Time and Fragile Nature, by Miriam Rothschild and Peter Marren. 12. Gordon Ford: the Natural Australian Garden, by Gordon Ford with Gwen Ford.


  1. Hello Faisal:
    What a most interesting and eclectic collection of gardening books you show here. We enjoy Christopher Lloyd's writing very much indeed and used to look forward to his weekly column in Country Life magazine. He gave a fresh approach to familiar subjects and was never afraid to challenge conventions.

  2. Hello Jane and Lance, Christopher Lloyd was one of the first garden writers I read seriously; I rarely minded his strong opinions, because they seemed to be based on reflected and vast experience. And he was entertaining.
    Like you, I often prefer something a bit off the beaten track.

  3. Hi Faisal, I was interested to see whether we listed any of the same books. (My list is on one of my pages.) The only one is the Dan Pearson book. I will look out for the others. They sound wonderful. And yes, hasn't it been cold? Although I am still busy moving things and planting cuttings, hoping that they will take before D day. cheers, catmint

  4. Hi Catmint...I hope there's enough warmth by October to tempt your new plantings up and at 'em. I'll check your booklist. What I've put here's a bit random, fumbled together as it was while I was still in my dressing-gown, defrosting my fingertips. Philip Oyler's The Generous Earth is especially good - he captured many living rural French traditions before they faded in the latter part of the twentieth century. Cheers, Faisal.

  5. Oooo what a lovely collection! A few very tempting titles in there that I will have to check out. Since you read my blog, I know that you know I am huge Roger Deakin fan. It is hard to get UK or Aussie books here as the cost is soooo high! All of my Deakin books and Sharyn Munro books were gifts and I know it cost my friend a small fortune.
    Anyway, re-reading Deakin, led me to Alice Oswald and I was able to find a used copy of her poetry book, Woods, etc. here in the states. (At a great price too so I ordered it immediately). Are you familiar with her work?
    I would say I hope it warms up for you, but, you are at the beginning of your winter, so, here's to a good cuppa or coffee or whatever is your choice hot beverage on a cold morning! lol!

  6. Coffee, Meggs, lots of it. For any book buying, I know a terrific site that connects British, American and Australian second-hand booksellers...you can source various copies of a title in various conditions at various prices. It's ABE BOOKS: www.abebooks.com
    I don't know Alice Oswald, so I'll have to check her work out.
    Roger Deakin - just wonderful.
    Have a great day/night, Faisal.

  7. I also love gardening books that really are books, not just collections of pretty pictures. I share some favorites with you, like Christopher Lloyd and Dan Pearson. Russell Page and Michael Pollan are also on my top list, just as some Swedish writers, whose works probably haven't been translated to English. Reading garden books is the best part of cold winter nights...

  8. Hi Liisa, yes, Russell Page and Michael Pollan give you more to chew on. With a Danish ancestor, I'm interested in Scandinavian culture...I wonder who would be among the most innovative/inspirational garden makers there...

  9. Dear Faisal, thanks for the tip for philip O - never heard of him, and also ABE books.

  10. Hi Catmint, you really must read Philip Oyler...the sort of book you never want to end, with a wealth of anecdote about the French commitment to fine agriculture/food/wine, but entirely down to earth.