Twenty-five years of keeping a garden journal--nine of them concerning her garden at Duck Hill in New York State--have given first-time author Dickey a keen eye and considerable experience with plants, weather, pets and pests. This paean to the garden starts in January, as she browses through books and catalogues. She makes a point of savoring her work year-round--forcing bulbs, caring for geraniums in her sun porch and watching as winter brings out her garden's ``bones'': those shapes and patterns provided by hedges, shrubs, trees, walls and walks. In other seasons Dickey boldly fills formal outlines with drifts of color and foliage. Her journal offers detailed descriptions and pen-and-ink sketches of plant varieties with favorite habitats and periods of peak bloom. Gardeners on a budget will appreciate her hints on how to propagate daylilies and astilbes, and almost everyone will chuckle at her description of how insidiously such ``thugs'' as violets can spread. The journal contains entries about her herb garden but concentrates on the interplay of color, texture and shape in the main garden, with asides on local flora and fauna, especially the feeding habits of deer. Also included are nine garden plans and a bibliography of classic and current garden books. Illustrated. (Oct.)
An ``enduring passion for making gardens'' has inspired Dickey to transform over the past nine years a scrubby three-acre New York farm into a varied and charming herbal oasis. In her monthly journal, Dickey describes in exquisite detail the trees, plants, and shrubs she has lovingly introduced into her various gardens (the herb garden, the white garden, the nasturtium border). Her log abounds with the names of species that companionably share space in garden or vase. She conveys with a poetic sense of color, fragrance, shape, and texture the peculiarities of each perennial and offers occasional musings on the art of gardening. This delightful journal is illustrated by the author's pen-and-ink drawings and 12 watercolors. For popular collections. (Color illustrations not seen.)--Laurie Bartolini, Lincoln Lib., Springfield, Ill.