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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The author and photographer of the classic Tasha Tudor's Garden deliver this intimate celebration of the gardening rites and rituals that mark not only the passage of the seasons but the passage of the years as they are shared with successive generations. In A Time to Blossom, Tovah Martin commemorates with words -- while Richard Brown illustrates with lush photographs -- the joys and discoveries of the horticultural year as experienced by a child.
While Martin claims that she "must have known, even as I struggled to figure out how to spell 'daffodil,' that I would eventually lose the essence of how it felt to spend a rainy afternoon with my mother, pressing pansies or making scented geranium cake," this book is proof to the contrary -- she has indeed captured the essence of such memories here. Descriptions like that of her mother assembling flower arrangements ("It was exhilarating to witness the transformation of the kitchen table into an unholy mess of extraneous petals and leaves, and there was nothing like watching as harmony miraculously arose from the chaos") and her own childhood observations ("There's no sense in having pansies unless you collect a crowd of many little hooligans to battle it out in the garden") are richly evocative and wonderfully entertaining.
Brown presents visuals that are equally captivating, depicting a field ablaze with delphiniums one minute, and a sweet portrait of mother and child in Victorian attire at work in their garden the next. These bittersweet photographs and Martin's fond, often humorous remembrances of her childhood gardening pursuits bring to life not just the garden, with its inhabitants and caretakers, but gardening itself.
Recipes and instructions are included for baking the aforementioned geranium cake, making hollyhock dolls, growing morning glories, and more, making this a fertile ground in which readers might sow their own joyful memories. (Karen Burns)