Garden Open Tomorrow

Overview

No devoted reader of Beverley Nichols will want to be without Garden Open Tomorrow. The sequel to his famous Garden Open Today (with its open invitation to readers everywhere to come see his garden for themselves), this is his final garden book and the summation of a long career spent enjoying and writing about gardens. Being Beverley Nichols, however, he cannot confine himself to a narrow discussion of gardening for long and provides entertaining asides on cats - including a hilarious critique of feline "ballet"...

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Overview

No devoted reader of Beverley Nichols will want to be without Garden Open Tomorrow. The sequel to his famous Garden Open Today (with its open invitation to readers everywhere to come see his garden for themselves), this is his final garden book and the summation of a long career spent enjoying and writing about gardens. Being Beverley Nichols, however, he cannot confine himself to a narrow discussion of gardening for long and provides entertaining asides on cats - including a hilarious critique of feline "ballet" performances - psychic phenomena, and the use of plants to commit murder.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fans ... will be charmed."—Marty Hair, Detroit Free Press, December 15, 2002
From The Critics
This final garden book by Nichols (1898-1983) contains all the wit and humor of his previous books, with the addition of several excruciatingly funny passages about cats and society personages. Centering on his garden at Sudbrook Cottage, this volume follows on the heels of Garden Open Today (1963). Sweet b&w line drawings by William McLaren. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
National Gardener
"[Nichols's] practical garden tips are spiced with his delightful sense of humor and strong opinions on gardening."
— Joanne S. Carpender
Pacific Horticulture
"[Nichols] is at his literary best bringing out the best in plants."
— Bob Cowden
Detroit Free Press
"Fans ... will be charmed."
— Marty Hair
National Gardener - Joanne S. Carpender
"[Nichols's] practical garden tips are spiced with his delightful sense of humor and strong opinions on gardening."—Joanne S. Carpender, National Gardener, January 2003
Pacific Horticulture - Bob Cowden
"[Nichols] is at his literary best bringing out the best in plants."— Bob Cowden, Pacific Horticulture, Winter 2003
Detroit Free Press - Marty Hair
"Fans ... will be charmed."—Marty Hair, Detroit Free Press, December 15, 2002
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604690972
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/22/2009
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 1,176,694
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverley Nichols (1898–1983) was a prolific writer on subjects ranging from religion to politics and travel, in addition to authoring six novels, five detective mysteries, four children's stories, six autobiographies, and six plays. He is perhaps best remembered today for his gardening books. The first of them, Down the Garden Path, centered on his home and garden at Glatton and has been in print almost continuously since 1932. Merry Hall (1951) and its sequels Laughter on the Stairs (1953) and Sunlight on the Lawn (1956) document Nichols' travails in renovating a Georgian mansion and its gardens soon after the war. His final garden was at Sudbrook Cottage, which serves as the setting for Garden Open Today (1963) and Garden Open Tomorrow (1968). The progress of all three gardens was followed avidly by readers of his books and weekly magazine columns.

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Read an Excerpt

The walnut tree is the second largest tree in my garden and a most beautiful tree it is, especially on a clear winter's morning, when the strong musical design of the branches seems to sing against the cold blue sky. The pale grey bark, from a distance, has the quality of the skin of some gigantic serpent. According to the experts the tree is about 160 years old, and last year a wood merchant offered me 100 pounds for it. I informed him that since the cottage was Crown Property we were not allowed to cut down any trees without the permission of the Queen, that if we did so we should be promptly clapped in the Tower, and that one of us, at least, would deserve to go there.

However, the walnut tree is not only beautiful but fruitful. In the first year it produced so many walnuts — small but very sweet — that our wrists ached with cracking them. But that was the only year in which we had any walnuts to eat. The word got round, the jungle telephone began to ring, and by the following summer the squirrels had realized that they were on to a good thing. They came from far and wide, and they have been coming up ever since. They appear with uncanny regularity at the beginning of the second week in July, usually on a Sunday morning. One comes home from church, helps oneself to a glass of sherry, and steps into the garden, filled with amiable intentions, one's mind echoing to the magnificent phrases of the Benedicite. 'O ye Whales and all that move in the Waters, bless ye the Lord.' This is my favourite verse; it conjures up a vision of schools and whales with balloons spouting out of their noses. On each balloon is written a pious injunction. The larger whales have quite a lot written on their balloons, the smaller whales have something short and simple, like 'Hosanna'. Let us hope that God has time to read them.

And then, straight from the heavens, there flutters a small and sinister object ... a fragment of the green skin of a walnut. It lands on the path, telling its story all too clearly. The squirrels have arrived, precisely on time. It is really quite extraordinary, as though they kept diaries in which they wrote: 'Sunday, July 9. Call on B.N. and inspect walnut trees.' At the moment there are only two of them, a sort of advance guard, flicking their tails in the swaying branches; and since they have not yet realized their strength, and still have some of the innate timidity of wild creatures, they scamper away at a clap of a hand, streaking from the walnut into the deeper recesses of the copper-beech, and from there into the pear tree, whence they disappear into one of the neighbouring gardens. But they will be back tomorrow, and the day after, in ever increasing numbers, and for weeks the lawns and the paths will be littered with scraps of shells and broken nuts, and the whole garden will look like Hampstead Heath after an exceptionally rowdy bank holiday.

Why this sends me almost mad with irritation I do

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 11
I Winter's Rages 13
II The Way You Look at it 33
III This Blessed Plot 45
IV All for Threepence 64
V Believe it or Not 76
VI The Glory of Grey 88
VII Letter to a Gentleman in a High Wind 102
VIII The Enemy Within Our Gates 119
IX Gone with the Wind 132
X The Music and the Roses 149
XI The Feline Touch 167
XII A Question of Design 181
XIII Gardening for the Elderly 197
Appendix 236
Index 267
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