Friday, October 28, 2011

Common or Garden?

Today I found this book, 'Common or Garden', but nothing about its author, Tyler Whittle, or Michael Tyler-Whittle, as he is more properly known..
Recommended on its fly-leaf for his "Proustian recollections", "he is informative and prodigal with sound advice on gardening as an art, as a passion, as a source of pleasure...", but who was he? If there's anyone out there who knows any more about this author, I'd be grateful if you'd pass it on.

Published by Willaim Heinemann Ltd. in 1969, the photograph on its dust jacket and across from its title page is by Michael Dempsey, and "was taken in the grounds of Rousham", which, I understand, is one of England's most beautiful gardens.
With chapters such as 'Green Belts and Garters', 'The Chase', 'Conceits and Follies' and 'Wild Gardens', this is a beguiling book by a talented writer with a perceptive mind. I was doubting that I'd find anything good, but suddenly this turned up. Does anyone have any more clues?


  1. Hello Faisal:
    Well, we certainly do know about Rousham and can concur that it is indeed one of our favourite English gardens. Constructed in the form of 'pleasure grounds' it is a most romantic place, essentially green, where one'happens' upon strategically placed ruins, ornate buildings, grottoes and rills. It is a delight.

    As for Tyler Whittle, well, to our great surprise we have never heard of him and so have never read a word that he has written. The book you show here sounds most interesting and we can but wonder if he had a garden of his own?

  2. on the following site i found he has written quite a few books ( but i suppose that one have you allready seen. it seems though as if that was a pseudonym. very intriquing & interesting. a riddle...
    cetrainly a very good find : )

  3. Can't wait to see your Christmas display..your posts are always so visual

  4. hallo Faisal! i am sure i left a comment earlier today... anyway... i did not find much about the writer. i think his name is a pseudonim. very interesting find... a riddle : )

  5. His name pops up with several links when goggled, but really very little information is given. It's a mystery! I adore the way you displayed each offering of the book. In the fist picture, is it a meyer lemon? Bonnie

  6. Hello Jane and Lance,
    from what I know, I'd love to go to Rousham - another world.
    Another of Tyler Whittle's books is 'Some Ancient Gentlemen', described by Lanning Roper in the 'Sunday Times' as: "...informative, amusing, scholarly and unorthodox, with the wit and very definite tastes and prejudices of the author punctuating every page. The illustrations have been selected with the same flair." So - that's the next one I have to find.

  7. Hello Demie,
    he is a man of mystery, it seems. We need Hercule Poirot to dig a little deeper!

  8. Hello John,
    I hadn't even thought of Christmas, apart from the usual you've got me going!

  9. Hello Bonnie,
    as much as I love lemon trees, and would be happy with an orchard of them, the leaves here are from a Camellia - no idea of the species, but it flowers crimson. Thankyou for your kind words.

  10. Dear Faisal, I've never heard to the writer or the book so I can't help. But I have taken to browsing for old gardening books in op shops now and it is wonderful what you can find. (I feel a post coming on ...)

    I planted your plant, it is happy, and I appreciated not only the plant but the beautiful material the pot was wrapped in and the superb black crumbly soil it was growing in. Even the string was aesthetically pleasing, no ordinary garden twine.

    cheers, catmint

  11. Hi Catmint,
    I'm glad the Euphorbia fits was my pleasure!
    My favourite op shop is in Auburn Road just up from Riversdale Road...I always find something. The (linen) string is from Est, one of my favourite shops in Melb.