We Made a Garden
Publication Date: February 19, 2002
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First published in Britain in 1956 and never before available in America, We Made a Garden is the classic story of a unique and enduring English country garden. One of Britain’s most esteemed gardening writers recounts how she and her husband set about creating an exemplary cottage garden from unpromising beginnings on the site of the former farmyard and rubbish heap that surround their newly purchased home in the countryside of Somerset, England. Each imbued with a strong set of horticultural opinions and passions, Mr. and Mrs. Fish negotiate the terrain of their garden, by turns separately and together, often with humorous collisions. From the secret to cultivating the smoothest lawn to the art of lifting and replanting tulip bulbs to the landscaping possibilities of evergreens, the diverse elements of successful gardening—and delightful writing—are bound together by Mr. and Mrs. Fish’s aspiration to cultivate that most precious and slow-growing quality—the fundamental character of a good garden.
Margery Fish was one of Britain’s leading gardeners. Named a classic gardening writer by the Royal Horticultural Society, she published six other gardening books and was a regular contributor to the British periodicals Amateur Gardening and The Field. Many thousands of visitors come each year to East Lambrook Manor, her Somerset garden.
Michael Pollan is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Botany of Desire and Second Nature, named one of the best gardening books of the twentieth century by the American Horticultural Society. He is a contributing editor to Harper’s magazine and a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Pollan chose the books for the Modern Library Gardening series because, as he writes, “these writers are some of the great talkers in the rich, provocative, and frequently uproarious conversation that, metaphorically at least, has been taking place over the back fence of our gardens at least since the time of Pliny.”
“Crammed with good advice. . . . I defy any amateur gardener not to find pleasure, encouragement, and profit from We Made a Garden.” —Vita Sackville-West
“Gardening is like everything else in life, you get out of it as much as you put in. No one can make a garden by buying a few packets of seeds or doing an afternoon’s weeding. You must love it, and then your love will be
repaid a thousandfold, as every gardener knows.” —Margery Fish