I cannot get my mind off of gardening, basically, and yet there is nothing to do. In times like this I turn to my other great hobby, reading, to satisfy my gardening fantasies.
We all know there are tons of non-fiction how-tos and non-fiction pictorials of gardens great and small. We spend our winters with these books at our side plotting and planning for future gardens. However, what really fills my fantasy world at least, during this time, is fiction books ABOUT gardening and gardeners. They are not as easy to sniff out and not nearly as common, but what fun to curl up with a good story and still be immersed in green and dirt and flowers.
Below is a selection of fiction of various kinds that I think might be worth a read for the garden crazy person. I hope you enjoy!
Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory
From the lady that brought you The Other Boleyn Girl, we have an historical fiction novel set in the 17th century. In this novel the main character is a gardener, John Tradescant, who is a botanist, gardener and collector in the time of King James I. This is a very interesting look on what it would have been like to be a gardener to royalty during these times, and seems to answer some of those questions that come up when we visit old manor homes and the fabulous gardens that were wrought during those earlier times. "What must have it been like?"
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Trash FictionIn The Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts
The books in the trilogy, Blue Dahlia, Black Rose, and Red Lily follow a few years in the life of a group of women operating a nursery in Memphis, Tennessee. I'm not going to lie to you, this is trash fiction at its finest, with every heroine in her turn (each book) taking the lead in finding purpose, solving internal problems and of course, finding Mr. Right (who was right in front of her face, all the time). Some standard cliched light romance stuff, however the main plot is actually a ghost story. In a garden, no less. This is perfect beach reading.
Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman
A great book for young and old alike. This novelette follows the progress of a community of ethnically diverse people who have come together to start a community garden in a vacant city lot. The story is told through the eyes of thirteen different characters as the garden, and the sense of community are born. This book is the perfect story to read to that curious child or grandchild in your life, and one that you will enjoy just as much as they will!
Modern Literary FictionThe Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which reads somewhat like fiction, is a definitely must read.
The Solitary Summer by Elizabeth Von Arnim