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Beautiful Madness: One Man's Journey Through Other People's Gardens

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During an amazing year of living botanically, in quest of deepening his own ever-consuming knowledge and interest in gardening, James Dodson went behind the scenes of the world's two most important garden shows (the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Chelsea Garden Show in London); spent time with a man nicknamed the Botticelli of Bulbs; attended a rare plant auction of high rollers; got adopted as a personal project by a famous garden club of colonial dames; sneaked into a Hosta convention; communed with the ...
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Overview

During an amazing year of living botanically, in quest of deepening his own ever-consuming knowledge and interest in gardening, James Dodson went behind the scenes of the world's two most important garden shows (the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Chelsea Garden Show in London); spent time with a man nicknamed the Botticelli of Bulbs; attended a rare plant auction of high rollers; got adopted as a personal project by a famous garden club of colonial dames; sneaked into a Hosta convention; communed with the kindred spirits of Thomas Jefferson and John Bartram; met a man smuggling exotic day lilies in the trunk of his car; spent a weekend on the Isle of Wight with the Madman of Kew and his gardening wife (she keeps Queen Victoria's estate); uncovered the secrets of ten or twelve of the Western world's most influential gardens; swiped cuttings from a Founding Father's shrubbery; hung out with some of the most accomplished gardening fanatics on earth; built three new gardens of his own; and wound up hanging perilously from a limb on the side of a cliff in Southern Africa, where he capped off his year of discovery by tagging along with four of America's leading plant hunters on an expedition into the rugged jungles to find the exotic new species of tomorrow.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dodson, a well-known golf writer who achieved popularity with A Golfer's Life (in collaboration with Arnold Palmer), is a witty and gifted scribe with a keen eye for details, a penchant for history and facts, and a serious addiction to gardening. This personal narrative describes his yearlong adventure through "other people's gardens," beginning with the inside scoop on the Philadelphia Flower Show and details on the birth of gardening in the American colonies, followed by a jaunt to the Chelsea Garden Show in London, and ending in a botanist's odyssey in the wilds of South Africa with a small group of hard-core horticulturalists. In between adventures, he visits several gardens and nurseries, makes new friends, and reconnects with old ones. Dodson's love of gardening shines through on every page; he leaves the reader with a sense of gardening as an equal-opportunity passion that belongs to all of us regardless of social status or ability. He also makes a strong case for protecting the world's plant and animal species, which adds value and depth to his text. Recommended for public libraries and academic libraries that collect popular works.-Deborah Anne Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525949350
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/2/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

James Dodson

JAMES DODSON is the author of Final Rounds, the 1996 bestseller that was named the Golf Book of the Year by the International Network of Golf. He is also the author of The Road to Somewhere, The Dewsweepers, Faithful Travelers, and A Golfer's Life, a collaboration with Arnold Palmer that was a New York Times bestseller. He is a four-time winner of the prestigious Golf Writers of America Award for his column in Golf Magazine, and a recipient of the 1998 Golf Reporter of the Year Award by the International Network of Golf.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : plant nerds in the mist 1
Ch. 1 Slightly off in the woods 9
Ch. 2 The Botticelli of bulbs 23
Ch. 3 Gardenlust 43
Ch. 4 In a philosopher's garden 66
Ch. 5 Garden club confidential 91
Ch. 6 Lost gardens 112
Ch. 7 Old men, young gardeners 142
Ch. 8 Diarmuid's balls, gentle chaos, and the mad man of Kew 169
Ch. 9 Stalking the wild pelargonium 207
Ch. 10 At play in a garden of Heaven 246
Ch. 11 I was here 272
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    what a delightful book

    This book kept me laughing and wanting more. Please treat your soul to this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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