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Garden Open Today Paperback – June 15, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Beverly Nichols book GARDEN OPEN TODAY (first published in 1963) is the next best thing, a narrative tour describing his garden which before his death he opened occasionally to the public. The book is lovingly illustrated with `whimsical' drawings by William McLaren (one photograph of Nichols and his friend Reginald Gaskin collecting money for charity at the entrance to the Nichols' grounds).
Nichols was a "real gardener" who worked side-by-side with several hired gardeners described in his earlier books, including MERRY HALL, LAUGHTER ON THE STAIR, and SUNLIGHT ON THE LAWN. If you haven't discovered Beverly Nichols and you love gardening and/or visiting gardens, you are in for a treat. His books are humorous and instructive, and definitely for cat lovers. (He wrote several books about cats). In GARDEN OPEN TODAY, he takes you step by step through his current garden (he moved a few times and wrote books about several gardens) pointing out some of the more interesting flowers and features.
As usual, the best bits of Nichols' book are anecdotal. His chapter on flower arrangers (apparently the bane of his existence) is hilarious. Nichols was a "loose bunch" kind of guy who detested those who "tortured" flowers in order to twist them into unnatural shapes.Read more ›
The real juice of this book however, is in deftly hilarious portraits of hypothetical lady gardeners, retirees planting their first garden, and cats. In the hands of a less skillful writer these would be twee bores, as would characterizations of people as types of soil(attributed to Elinor Glyn), a chapter on the real Constance Spry and the occasional breathtaking sentence like one about lilies and music that you'll just have to read for yourself.
In the tradition of P.G. Wodehouse and E. F. Benson, 'Garden Open Today' is a more than worthy addition to any collection of lighter Britlit, and I am gleefully looking forward to reading anything else by Mr. Nichols I can get my hands on. Oh, happy, happy day when I picked up this one, I'd give it ten stars if I could!
Heftier in gardening tips, etc than his prior books (which included humorous distractions of country life and people,) it may surprise some who expect more of the same. However, if you love him and love gardening, get this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beverly Nichols never fails to amuse and instruct and you don't even need to be an ardent gardener to appreciate his sparkling style and wit. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Hand Obsessed
If you enjoy gardening, you should enjoy this book. But I would suggest starting with Nichols' masterpiece: Merry Hall, the first book in a wonderful trilogy.Published on January 7, 2014 by PAK
This book can be read purely for the language skills displayed by Beverly Nichols in all his books, most of which I have read.Published on March 15, 2013 by christmas