greentapestry : A 'Gardener's Nightcap'

Monday, 1 April 2013

A 'Gardener's Nightcap'

"And then to bed, to lie with with one's face to the uncurtained window, thinking of seed-sowing, and pruning and mulching, and slug hunting, and this year's done and next year's doings, and all the other garden preoccupations that obtrude themselves so pleasantly before a gardener sleeps"

No do not fret readers I've not turned to drink yet, despite the continuing chilly easterly winds which certainly preclude nocturnal uncurtained windows in this household. There were a few almost indiscernable flakes of snow earlier this morning so Easter Monday gardening activities may be restricted to the greenhouse. Luckily I have plenty to read at hand including a new book from which the above extract is taken. Arriving in the post last week a parcel containing a beautifully wrapped surprise gift. I was initially reluctant to unravel the wrapping paper but when I did I was greeted by a book entitled 'Gardener's Nightcap' written by Muriel Stuart. The book was from my sister who had ordered it via 'Persephone Books'. Funnily enough I had ordered the very same book as a gift for a friend a few years ago and had meant to get a copy for myself at some point but have never got round to it. If you have not already come across them Persephone Books reprints and sells 'neglected fiction and non - fiction' by mid 20th century (mostly women) writers.

Muriel Stuart was a Scottish poet who wrote poetry both during and after the First World War. She also wrote for gardening magazines for a number of years as well as writing two gardening books. 'Gardener's Nightcap' which was first published in 1938 is a collection of observations and thoughts on gardening topics. It appears to be the prefect dipping in and out of book and has is now residing by my bed for late night reading. Although this is the only gardening book available there is much else of interest included in the Persephone Books current list of titles. They offer a gift wrapping service which if my book is anything to go by is excellent. Furthermore each book is accompanied by an illustrated bookmark - in this case a most attractive fritillary inspired design.

PS I have noticed that today's Kindle daily deal is 'Dear Lupin: Letters To A Wayward Son' - nothing to do with gardening despite the reference to the flower, but it looks as if this book could provide the perfect antidote to the chill.


  1. What a wonderful surprise gift. I think it's arrived in the nick of time if snow flurries are gracing your Easter Monday. It's bright here today, though mighty cold.

  2. I was a bit concerned, Anna, when I first accessed your post in my email inbox, as it said it was posted at 4.30am, but the time difference seemed to have kicked in and when I opened it properly it said you actually posted it at a more acceptable 12.30pm! I had visions of you tossing and turning unable to sleep, thinking of seed sowing and mulching... ;) It sounds a lovely book, all the more so to have received it as a surprise prezzie and in such lovely packaging; one I shall look out for, I think

  3. What gorgeous packaging indeed! Sounds like a really lovely book. One to treasure : )

  4. Sounds like a lovely book, and the packaging is gorgeous! Happy Easter!

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  6. I read about Persephone books recently. That sounds like a great read. Although if I'm honest Richard Mabey's Weeds has been by my bedside for 6 weeks now and I'm only on Chapter 5. I dream of a 2 week holiday where I can just read and read. It's got to the point with my current book where I've forgotten what I read the night before.

  7. That sounds rather lovely, please can you append the occasional snippet to future posts?! Persephone books sound worth checking out too...


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- Anna.