Acclaimed author Elizabeth Jane Howard said she would certainly have been a gardener had she not become a writer first. In Green Shades: An Anthology of Plants, Gardens and Gardeners, first published in 1991, she brings together a diverse and fascinating selection of gardening writing that spans the centuries, the seasons and the species. Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning, pocket-sized classics with ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. The content is eclectic and wide-ranging, practical as well as lyrical – she pays homage to the great English landscape artists of the eighteenth century and to the great women gardeners such as Vita Sackville-West. There’s advice from Pliny on how walnuts can be used to dye hair and Joseph Addison encourages blackbirds to gorge on his cherry trees. Linking the numerous extracts is Elizabeth Jane Howard’s perceptive and highly personal commentary, which skilfully leads the reader from one subject to the next.
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