This is the time every year when gardeners – forced inside by ice, snow and cold temperatures – turn their attention to books, both for their own enjoyment and as potential gifts to other gardeners.
This year, with many indoor activities canceled or curtailed, books will be more important than ever. Reading in a comfortable chair while occasionally looking out at a frozen and, I hope, snow-covered landscape will be a prime source of gardeners’ offseason entertainment. Here are a number of books that have come out this year.
One book that will provide several days of enjoyment is “The Story of Gardening” by Penelope Hobhouse with Ambra Edwards, an update of Hobhouse’s 2002 book. I’d never read the original so the update was all new to me. I am convinced, however, that it covers enough new information to interest even those who read the original.
The Garden of Eden gets a mention, but the book truly begins with actual gardens that existed starting some 5,000 years ago so in Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent. Going in roughly chronological order, Hobhouse and Edwards describe the creation of gardens in the past and note how they have affected gardens that are being created today. The final chapter, written by Edwards, looks at current trends and discusses how gardening is likely to change as a result of factors like climate change.