'Fashionable gardens bore me', Henry says patiently, 'with their stranglehold on growth and natural beauty. Fashionable gardens are everything about order and symmetry and nothing about plants. They are hard, measured battlegrounds against nature, as though it was the enemy. Sometimes it is even enough for whole areas to be eradicated of foliage and filled with coloured sand or gravel, and triumphal gaudy flags, and emblems set about the site, as markers of the inexorable march of civilization eating up the wilderness.' - Jane Borodale.
The to be read pile runneth away from me at the moment, not only a veritable toppling mountain of magazines but several books too. Somehow or other, it seems that the majority of novels that I reserved via the local library have conspired to be ready for collection at the same time. There is a but a three week window to read most of these, as other library users are in the queue, so it's going to be a case of some serious concentration plus a touch of speed reading. The onset of colder days and longer nights will no doubt help. As a consequence though gardening related reading material, has for the time being drifted towards the bottom of the pile but there are goodies lying in store, once I have cleared the library books. Earlier this year I wrote "I am going to resist buying any more books until I have read those already in my possession. The bookshelves are groaning and are in need of a good prune". Well I have risen well on the whole to this challenge but I must confess that temptation reared its ugly head. Himself spoilt me with some Amazon gift vouchers last Christmas so during the course of the year I have treated myself to the odd booky treat including a recent purchase of ~
Jane Borodale's recent historical novel 'The Knot',which is currently most favourably priced at £6.00 for a hardback edition through Amazon. The book's central character is the botanist Henry Lyte, of Lytes Carey Manor in Somerset. The year is 1565 and Henry is occupied with not only translating a Dutch herbal, but also in planning and planting an intricate herb garden, which will feature a knot at its heart. It is against this background that "old family troubles start to worm their way up towards the light, potentially threatening everything that Henry holds dear.
Of course I've had to have a quick peek. At some four hundred or so pages long my initial flicking through impressions are most positive so I can't wait to make inroads into this book. 'The Knot' is also available in paperback, surprisingly at a higher price as well as in Kindle format - again at a slightly higher price than the current price for the hardback. I will try to return with my thoughts on the book once I have read it but it may not be for a while. I have already made a note to purchase this as a seasonal gift for at least one friend who like me is interested in both plants and history. What are you reading at the moment or plan to read to read over the coming months? All suggestions gardening related or otherwise are welcome.