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We Made a Garden

We Made a Garden

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Being so very historic, you’ll need to excuse the quality of these pre-digital photos – or don’t, if you’d rather not). It has been hailed as everything from a blueprint for the creation of a modern cottage garden to a feminist manifesto. We knocked out the bricked-up window and dug out clay to a further depth of twelve inches, passing it out through the window to a waiting skip. I also noticed how overbearing her husband was, and how she enjoyed doing things her own way later on when she gardened by herself.

This rear garden, the main garden to the cottage, was some way away: across a smaller garden behind the house, then hang a right, open the pale blue gate and pass down a narrow passage. First published in Britain in 1956 and never before available in America, We Made a Garden is the classic story of a unique and enduring English country garden. Sometimes in the summer my heart softens when I see its really pretty flat pink rosettes, but most of the time it is war.Fish negotiate the terrain of their garden, by turns separately and together, often with humorous collisions. Over the next few weeks, I levered up every brick from the non-cemented floor and carried them up the stairs, through the kitchen and all the way out to the back garden.

But in spring and summer, the house was a fine – warm – place to live and for the first time, after living in London, Bristol and Brighton, I fulfilled a life-long dream: living in the country. We all have a lot to learn and in every new garden there is a chance of finding inspiration - new flowers, different arrangements or fresh treatment for old subjects.That house holds so many memories and Sunday trips and pub lunches with you and Andrew are way up there. Very enjoyable read of an English couple creating a garden in a forsaken plot of land, in 1940s England. The Hogarth Press where I’m working, is in the heart of the literary world, with authors coming in all the time. The hornbeam came as whips, the yew as large pot-bound trees – bought cheaply second hand – and neither took long to establish and provide some privacy against the nosey folk. Margery Fish is entertaining and amusing but in this day and age, there is no place for the constant mentioning of Walter, the absolute domineering, tyrannical gobshite of a husband that not only disallowed Margery any autonomy in the garden, but actively delighted in wrecking her plans by pulling up plants, throwing soil from his projects on her work and generally berating her for every idea mentioned!

Her many articles and books inspired garden enthusiasts with her easy read knowledge and observation. The previous owner grew her vegetables here and, for decades, she’d dug in compost and she’d dug in manure. For younger bookworms – and nostalgic older ones too – there’s the Slightly Foxed Cubs series, in which we’ve reissued a number of classic nature and historical novels.

This book charmed me by the cover and hypnotized me with old-fashioned language, both British and Latin.

And you’d think that an unknown room, an unknown extra floor, might be the sort of thing they’d point out. The Rayburn heated the kitchen and most of the downstairs, gave us scalding hot water, cooked most of our food and warmed our buns.This is a charming little book by Margery Fish, offering anecdotal history of the choosing and planting of a home garden in England. Probably the least popular review on my blog, which still draws ire to this day, is Elizabeth West’s Hovel in the Hills, which I disliked because she had no sense of humour and really just wanted to record how wonderful she was. And I never stopped saying the most scathing things about gardeners, what fools they were always to be working and never enjoying their gardens, and what was the good of having a lovely garden if you never had time to sit in it and enjoy it? It’s one of a (not very) regular series of posts about gardens and houses we’ve owned over the years. I often wonder why some zealous gardening relation did not slay me with fork and spade in my unenlightened years.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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