A Little History of British Gardening

Overview

This lively “potted” history of gardening in Britain takes us on a garden tour from the thorn hedges around prehistoric settlements to the rage for decking and ornamental grasses today, tracking down ordinary folk, aristocrats and grand designers.

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Overview

This lively “potted” history of gardening in Britain takes us on a garden tour from the thorn hedges around prehistoric settlements to the rage for decking and ornamental grasses today, tracking down ordinary folk, aristocrats and grand designers.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
Uglow’s brisk history starts with Roman attempts to adapt to the English climate (a summer divan found in one ruin is “a mark of real optimism”) and whisks us through a panorama of monastery herb gardens, medieval walled gardens, Tudor knots, and Restoration parterres. She’s alert to the way that fashion gradually edged out mere utility, as she explains the landscaping craze of the eighteenth century, the flower-bed craze of the Victorians, and the current vogue for vegetables grown for decorative effect. Leavening the welter of fact with personal asides, she relishes the dottier manifestations of horticultural single-mindedness, like Francis Carew’s method of providing Elizabeth I with out-of-season cherries (a damp canvas cover to keep the tree cool in summer), and John Evelyn’s pleasingly unworkable plan to counter seventeenth-century London pollution by surrounding the capital with an enormous border of flowers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780712664943
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Jenny Uglow is an editor at Chatto & Windus and lives in Canterbury, England. Her previous books include The Lunar Men (FSG, 2002), winner of the PEN International Prize for History; Hogarth (FSG, 1997); Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories (FSG, 1993); and George Eliot.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: 'Mrs Woodcock's irises' 1
I Seed
1 Did the Romans have rakes? 7
2 Aelfric's list 16
3 Monastic lore 25
4 Pleasure ... 34
5 ... and profit 44
6 Tudor conceits 54
7 The plantsman cometh 67
II Leaf
8 Stuart fantasies 81
9 'Wife, into thy garden' 91
10 Swords into pruning hooks 102
11 Points of view 115
12 Arcadia 125
13 The citizen's box 135
14 Miller & Co. 145
III Flower
15 Brown and his foes 159
16 Victoriana 170
17 Brightness is all 182
18 Cottagers, florists and shows 193
19 Town mouse 204
20 Don't sneer at Mrs Lawrence 210
21 Rebellion 220
IV Fruit
22 The big kitchen garden 231
23 Country Life 242
24 From war to war 255
25 Modernists and artists 266
26 Eat your greens 274
27 The flowers and the wild 285
28 The cherry tree 296
Epilogue: All of us 300
List of Illustrations 308
Notes and Further Reading 314
Two Hundred Gardens 325
Index 332
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