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Rhapsody in Green: The Garden Wit and Wisdom of Beverley Nichols [Kindle Edition]

Beverley Nichols , Roy C. Dicks
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Beverley Nichols (1898–1983) was a prolific author, playwright, composer, and media personality.
Though much of his work has been forgotten, his garden writing has stood the test of time. His amusing anecdotes, poetic contemplations, and penetrating observations speak to all gardeners — from houseplant killers to nursery professionals — and capture the joy, heartache, and hilarity of gardening.

Rhapsody in Green speaks to the true spirit of Beverley Nichols. Compiled by Roy C. Dicks and drawn from fifteen of his best titles, these carefully selected passages offer a tantalizing taste of Nichols's humor, passion, and poetry. Designed for easy browsing and casual reference, it is organized by subject, including favorite plants, despised plants, and the secrets to successful gardening. Readers will also delight in William McLaren's original line drawings spread throughout the text. A must-have for Nichols fans, gardeners, and plant lovers.

Editorial Reviews


“Be prepared for delight as you read Rhapsody in Green—you won’t want to put it down…and you may never look at gardens in the same way again.”

(Greater Southeast Missouri Master Gardener )

"If you find yourself having to make a speech in which gardening is a topic, this is an exceptional and irresistible crib-sheet." (Lincoln County News )

"What a great way to get a taste of one of the funniest, most remarkable, and wholeheartedly enthusiastic garden voices of the past century." (Green Prints )

"Nichols' eloquent yet humorous prose combined with the straitlaced nature of English gardening makes a wonderful read."

(Country Gardens )

"These short extracts—by turns practical, philosophical, humorous, and lyrical—express the joys and frustrations of being a home gardener." (Bloomsbury Review )

"If you're moved to 'listen to flowers,' you're sure to discover a kindred spirit in Nichols." (Horticulture )

"[The book] is a wonderful introduction into Nichols' world, his passions, his crotchets, and his humor." (Commonweeder blog )

About the Author

Roy C. Dicks is a professional librarian, actor, stage director, and music critic (with a particular passion for opera).  He is a world-class expert on Beverley Nichols who has contributed forewords and indexes to many Nichols reprints.

Beverley Nichols (1898–1983) was a prolific writer on subjects ranging from religion to politics and travel, in addition to authoring six novels, five detective mysteries, four children's stories, six autobiographies, and six plays. He is perhaps best remembered today for his gardening books. The first of them, Down the Garden Path, centered on his home and garden at Glatton and has been in print almost continuously since 1932. Merry Hall (1951) and its sequels Laughter on the Stairs (1953) and Sunlight on the Lawn (1956) document Nichols' travails in renovating a Georgian mansion and its gardens soon after the war. His final garden was at Sudbrook Cottage, which serves as the setting for Garden Open Today (1963) and Garden Open Tomorrow (1968). The progress of all three gardens was followed avidly by readers of his books and weekly magazine columns.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2287 KB
  • Print Length: 136 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0881929484
  • Publisher: Timber Press; 1 edition (February 2, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003R4Z2M2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,452 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Wit and Wisdom from Beverley Nichols March 29, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For fans of Beverley Nichols, this makes great bedtime reading; for those who have not had the pleasure of reading Nichols' books, it's a great introduction to his work. Rhapsody in Green is a compilation of excerpts from Nichols' gardening books, some of which are out of print. If you've read Nichols' in-print books, you'll come across favorites you've read before as well as nuggets from books you have not been able to obtain. Kudos to Roy C. Dicks for his excellent introductions in all the reprinted Nichols books - and for being the driving force in getting many of the gardening books reprinted by Timber Press - in essence, curating the Nichols legacy. Perfect title, too: a nice reference to Nichols' musicality.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nichols' Greatest Hits Album May 6, 2010
If you've loved other Beverley Nichols' books, this wonderful little volume is a cheat sheet of the best, wittiest, and funniest bon mots of the man who gave us Down the Garden Path. If you've never read Nichols, this is the best place to start and figure out what all the fuss is about. Nichols is part Oscar Wilde (but not as mean) part Dorothy Parker (but not depressed) and part Eddie Izzard (but not naughty). Then, add a dose of garden tools and English village life, and you have your man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book! June 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the book that got me started reading Beverley Nichols. It contains some of the best excerpts from his many gardening books. He is delightfully witty and his enthusiasm for gardening is highly contagious! I really enjoyed this book and plan to keep it for many years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable March 5, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After my most recent ‘dark’ read, I chose to move in the opposite direction, into a rather ‘light’ tome. I came upon this little gem of a book quite by happenstance, setting it aside for just the right moment. This one, I thought, will fit-in nicely with my collection. Dicks has compiled a few quips written from within the pages of Nichols’ gardening books by Nichols himself. Dicks has also included some amusing anecdotes about the companions Nichols chose to share his life, his cats.

Quoted from Merry Hall
(Jonathan Cape 1951) Timber Press 1998:

"There is the tang of ice–the ice that laid out its little mirrors of glass all through the orchard in the clear days of January, so that the sky might lean close and see its face."

"There is a great deal of truth in the old saying that in a garden the best fertilizer is the shadow of the owner."

Quoted from Garden Open Today
(Jonathan Cape 1963) Timber Press 2002:

"I am honored by the visits of neighboring felines. They appear dramatically on the tops of walls, spying out the land (all cats, of course are in the secret service), or they dart from out of the darkness of the tool-shed. Sometimes they stroll, with apparent nonchalance, across the open lawn, which gives rise to scenes of great tension if any of my own cats happen to be engaged in counter-espionage at the widows (sic), as they often are."

And, as an aside to Dicks’ observations about John Beverley Nichols’ cats, I would be amiss if I didn’t include one of my favorite annotations from Nichols‘ book, Cats’ A.B.C.:

"Most of us rather like our cats to have a streak of wickedness. I should not feel quite easy in the company of any cat that walked about the house with a saintly expression."
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5.0 out of 5 stars gardening glitter November 3, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
like all of the beverley nichols books, this is witty, well written and lovely to read. it is a quick read, but will make you want to reread any of the other gardening books of his you have. he really was a very gifted writer and it is quite clear that he had an abiding love of his garden, wherever it may have been. he was not averse to spending money to get the plants and accessories he wanted. perhaps he should have been, but was always satisfied when his ideas were completed. i especially like to read his books in winter, even though we can have flowers and shrubs in bloom all year here. but on a cold, rainy day with a cup of tea, he is a comfort. lynn richardson
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book arrived looking practically brand new; I've read a couple of other Beverley Nichols books (going to read more), but this book is a great way to get some quick insight into Nichols' way of writing about his gardening experiences. In fact, some of the bits chosen for this book could be printed up and hung on the wall of a potting shed or greenhouse . . . What a great idea to do a book this way.
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