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Gardening in Eden: The Joys of Planning and Tending a Garden Hardcover – Deckle Edge


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743241800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743241809
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,148,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For Vanderbilt, paradise exists in a well-placed perennial bed and rapture explodes on the garden center's opening day. In this lyrical, lovely paean to the delights and disappointments of a lifetime spent tending his garden, an Eden he has created in a suburban New Jersey backyard, Vanderbilt waxes nostalgic for bygone days of epic snowfalls and visits to green-thumbed grandparents, all the while anxiously anticipating next year's garden projects and zealously contemplating new plant purchases. Winsomely, wistfully, with acerbic wit and accumulated wisdom, Vanderbilt shares a jump-the-gun garden enthusiasm that eagerly spurs him to plant flats of annuals in defiance of May's last frost date, taking readers season by season through his garden reveries and activities until the day when he must stoically rip out the sodden foliage the year's first frost has inflicted on those very same plants. Gardeners have an almost preternatural sensitivity to the natural world around them, and Vanderbilt charmingly imparts his with a rhapsodic exuberance and poetic reverence for things keenly seen and deeply felt. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Susie Coelho author of Susie Coelho's Everyday Styling and host of HGTV's Surprise Gardener Gardening in Eden is a must-read for any gardener, especially those just starting out, as it provides wonderful, poetic inspiration, as well as practical advice. This is a "curl up in a chair" read, and then you'll want to get out into the garden and get your hands dirty! -- Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Did you every really look at the New York Times Best Sellers List, the Nonfiction List? The 16 books on it are almost all always by celebrities, about celebrities, people or events in today's headlines, books that come and go in a flash. Books like Gardening in Eden by Arthur Vanderbilt will never make it onto the List. They don't stand a chance. And that's a shame, for in this small book I got for Christmas (its just 189 pages long) is so much quiet wisdom, such humor, such lyrical beauty and fine writing that I wish more people knew about it. In the simple setting of a garden the author finds the world and shares that exuberant joy on every page. I would highly recommend this book. My guess is that when today's current crop of bestsellers are forgotten, Gardening in Eden will still be a perennial classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This summer has finally offered me up enough time to read and savor GARDENING IN EDEN--and it's a book I loved. It is wonderfully written: filled with poetry and lyricism--flights of soaring imagination--and all grounded with a great deal of humor. I think writing well about nature is difficult; nature writing can drift dangerously into Joyce-Kilmer land ("a nest of robins in her hair") but the great joy of GARDENING IN EDEN is that Mr. Vanderbilt manages to find the poetry, the God, the spirit, the timelessness, the eternity of nature--and never once does he slosh into sentimentality or Hallmark-ism. One of the things I like best about the book is that it's about gardening in the way Saint Exupery's WIND, SAND, AND STARS is about airplane flying--that is, the gardening is a prism or a window into something larger--something profound and often stirring. The description of spring which begins on page 38 and which explodes in glory through page 41 is a glorious, dizzying, delirious piece of writing: wonderful in the same way that Dylan Thomas's prose poems can take an aggregate of detail and pile them one on top of each other until the reader is overwhelmed and transported. And what beautiful visual detail: like perfect snapshots: "a red wheelbarrow without a scratch." The book is filled with sensory details like this: the smell of a newly opened grass-seed, "its dazzling yellow lights up the area outside my window...the leaves are that electric." I like, also, the way book effortless and seamlessly melts through time: suddenly we're children dreaming of a snow day--and then it's thirty years later we're in an office planning a garden during a tedious business meeting ("flexibility"). The seasons melt into each other; and time crosscuts through the decades. This seems to me exactly the way the world feels--but it's a tough thing to capture in art. Mr. Vanderbilt pulls it off magnificently. It's a rare and beautiful book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Veldran on March 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As an amateur gardener myself, Mr. Vanderbilt's book hit home with me. From going to the local nursery to the smell of freshly mowed grass to the lonliness of winter this book expresses the multitude of emotions gardeners experience throughout the year. A very delightful book! This is one book that will be reread by.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lester Lippy on June 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I love to garden. I can't get enough. But when there's too much sun or too much rain, I usually pass my time reading a good book. Recently, I came upon "Gardening in Eden" by this young author from my own home state. What a pleasure. Get a copy and read it after a long day in your garden. You'll find yourself appreciating your garden 10 times more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Finley on January 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read Arthur T. Vanderbilt's book, "Gardening in Eden" as a nor'easter raged outside, blasting our house with a vile wintry mix, and his book brought inside the wonderfully soothing world of the garden in all seasons. With a roaring fire and a hot cup of tea, it was the perfect way to forget the storm and to remember how much fun it is to work outside. Now, I can't wait to get out there again!
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