One Man's Garden / Edition 1

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In the sequel to The Essential Earthman, the Washington Post columnist offers a harvest of sharp observations and humorous adventures gathered during a year in his garden, along with much down-to-earth advice on horticulture.

Henry Mitchell, who died in November 1993, was one of America's most beloved garden writers. A man of contradictions, Mitchell built landing platforms for dragonflies after seeing one drown in his pool and never stepped on an ant intentionally. He also railed mightily at fools and the elements. This is his last book--adapted from his weekly "Earthman" columns in the Washington Post.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Henry's Mitchell's writing "combined the cadences of the Book of Common Prayer with the timing of Jack Benny. He was humble, cantankerous, ironic, and forbearing. He is sorely missed"—Allen Lacy
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Washington Post columnist Mitchell ( The Essential Earthman ) brings together a year's worth of wry observations about the peculiarities and pleasures of gardening in this anthology. His book, designed primarily for small town gardens of less than a quarter-acre, and written from the relatively balmy perspective of Washington, D.C. (climatic zone 5), is the perfect makings of a winter read for those planning next year's garden. Mitchell's chatty style is entertaining as well as informative, and he mixes details of garden advice with liberal doses of Johnsonian philosophy, appropriately noting the vanity of human wishes, the defeat of a gardener's best intentions, and the joy of the unexpected and unplanned. While it contains some unnecessary repetition (perhaps less noticeable when the material was published as a weekly column), the collection manages to include a surprising range of topics, plants and personal asides. Water gardeners in particular will enjoy Mitchell's obsession with water lilies, other aquatic plants and fish. Other essays touch on wildlife in town gardens, and the ineradicable nature of bindweed. The book is divided into 12 chapters corresponding to months of the year, each introduced with an attractive line drawing by Susan Davis. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Gardeners will smile at the wit that Washington Post garden writer Mitchell displays in this collection of short essays arranged loosely by the gardening year. Most gardeners will agree with Mitchell's sensible philosophy: ``Gardening is full of mistakes, almost all of them pleasant and some of them actually instructive.'' This is an experienced gardener/environmentalist who mixes solid gardening information along with the right blend of humor and human interest to hold the attention of gardener readers. His book offers an instructive and mellow look at year-round garden activities. Suitable for most public libraries.-- Dale Luchsinger, Athens Area Technical Inst., Ga.
Anne Raver
...[E]very page is filled with his irascible, wholly unpretentious voice...Mitchell never tries to be funny or erudite. He just is.
The New York Times Book Review, 1992
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395957691
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Edition description: None
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 274
  • Sales rank: 626,090
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry Mitchell, who died in November 1993, was one of America's most beloved garden writers. He was especially famous for his weekly "Earthman" columns in the Washington Post.

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