(Frost on Autumn Joy sedum… late fall is definitely feeling a lot like winter.)
When you are summoned to jury duty, take a book with you. In fact, take a good gardening book with you.
Guess who had to report for jury duty today?
Jury duty, as it turned out, was a mighty good opportunity to start reading the next selection of the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club, Dear Friend and Gardener by Beth Chatto and Christopher Lloyd.
I’m a good citizen and potential juror, so of course I stopped reading when the nice lady gave us instructions on filling out forms and taking breaks and showed us a video about what to expect if we actually served on a jury. I also looked up from my book whenever she called out the names of those who needed to go off to a courtroom. Yes, I was on time, cooperative, and attentive when I needed to be.
But the rest of the time, I was transported to England becoming acquainted with “Beth and Christo” through their correspondence back and forth. I felt as though I was eavesdropping on their conversations or had snuck in to one of their homes and was reading letters left out on their writing desks.
As I started reading this book, I got the sense that this winter might turn out like last winter, when I read Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence – A Friendship in Letters. After reading that book of letters between those two gardeners, I read a biography of Elizabeth Lawrence and one of her books and I have in my library a biography of White, still to be read, and her book, Onward and Upward in the Garden, half read.
After I read Dear Friend and Gardener, I suspect I’ll want to read a book or two by Christopher Lloyd and a book by Beth Chatto. I already have several books by Lloyd in my library, but not by Chatto. Does anyone have any recommendations?
For those still considering if they want to join several of us in reading Dear Friend and Gardener for the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club, here’s a little snippet written by Beth in a letter to Christopher Lloyd.
“Personally, I think we may have a wider approach to garden design if we have been helped to appreciate other forms of art; to be aware of basic principles – balance, repetition, harmony, and simplicity – which apply to all forms of creativity. To look for these ideas in painting and architecture, or hear them in music, has certainly influenced me as much as knowing whether to put a plant in the shade, or in full sun.”
Just think about that for awhile. Think about your own garden design. Is it enhanced through exposure to other arts? Do you see a great painting or hear some music that gives you a great idea for your garden? Where do you get your inspiration for garden design?
(Jury duty? As it turned out, my name was never called to go to a courtroom, so I was done by 11:30, thanked for coming, and released to return to work.)