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The 3,000 Mile Garden: An Exchange of Letters on Gardening, Food, and the Good Life

The 3,000 Mile Garden: An Exchange of Letters on Gardening, Food, and the Good Life

by Leslie Land, Roger Phillips

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two professional gardeners, one British, the other American, having met at a New Hampshire ``mushroom foray,'' continue to share their gardening adventures in this delightful collection of their letters. Journalist/author Land (The Modern Country Cook) has country gardens in Cushing, Maine, and upstate New York; Phillips, a prolific writer/lecturer and plant photographer (Quest for the Rose), gardens by committee in London's three-acre city park at Eccleston Square. The difference in their situations intrigues them both and is instructive. They exchange discoveries about climate, garden design, rare and common cultivars, soils, mulches, pests and numerous other details of concern to gardeners. They spice their letters with botanical myth and gossip, bits of local history and geography and custom, and compare favorite recipes for their edible plants. Among other titillations, Phillips tells her how he heated a ham in mulch, and Land describes her experiments with diluted urine as a greening agent. But every page in this chatty, exuberant book is a feast of tips and surprises whose abundance and utility well serve any gardener. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Land is an American food writer who gardens; Phillips is a London-based plant photographer and writer who cooks. The two met in 1989 at a mushroom bash in New Hampshire and began a conversation that was too good to end. They continued it by mail. The resulting letters, through 1994, make up a book that is an exchange of ideas, drawings, practical tips, recipes, and personal tidbits. The correspondence is also the basis of a public television series that will air beginning in December of this year. Of particular interest are Phillips's references to the garden squares of London. We learn a bit about their history, the committee that oversees them, and the assaults on them by builders of high rises and car parks. Land's garden is in Maine, and the reader enjoys following her struggles with weather, soil, and terrain. The letters, witty and entertaining, are unfortunately published with no linking narrative, leaving gaps and unanswered questions. Though not an essential purchase, this book nevertheless will be enjoyed where anglophilic gardeners or public television fans are numerous.-Carol Cubberley, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg
Alice Joyce
Phillips is well known in British gardening circles, with the definitive book on mushrooms and a television program highlighting roses to his credit. Land, who tends gardens in Maine and New York, writes cookbooks and articles on food. These two articulate, ebullient individuals (bearers of keen awareness and socially conscious attitudes toward life) corresponded about their beloved gardens, the preparation and enjoyment of good food, and the capricious nature of events that constitute everyday life. Becoming acquainted with Land and Phillips through their letters promises to thoroughly engage and reward anyone sharing similar concerns or interests, which include cherishing the company of friends and loved ones, relishing the boundless joys and heartaches of gardening, and savoring life to the fullest.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 8.35(h) x 1.26(d)

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