As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:
A Garden Miscellany by Suzanne Staubach
The subtitle to this book is: An Illustrated Guide to the Elements of the Garden
Imagine a sweet garden dictionary that has the most adorable cover and is filled with beautiful illustrations and then throw in excellent garden history and botanical tidbits along with clear and simple definitions - and you have garden historian Suzanne Staubach’s delightful book, A Garden Miscellany.
This book was a 2019 standout for me from a design standpoint - Julia Yellow did a marvelous job with the whimsical and striking illustrations.
Staubach introduces her book this way:
“If Gardens were musical compositions, this book would be a look at the notes. Gardens have many notes, many parts. Paths, borders, beds, containers, pergolas, plants. Not all gardens, of course, include the same elements, but they do include some combination.”
In Susan’s alphabetical collection, A is for Allée: Derived from the French verb meaning to go; allée refers to a straight walkway or avenue, a promenade, usually lined with trees, occasionally with shrubs.
As a garden historian, Susan shares invaluable historical insights on each element in her book. For allee, she reminds us that, “the 17th-century diarist, author, and gardener John Evelyn, wrote that, ‘alleys must not be interrupted and that their length alone affords a most gracious and pleasant perspective, while they serve to decline and concur at a point - especially if planted with tall trees... Nothing can be more ravishing and agreeable.’”
In writing this delightful dictionary, Suzanne reflected,
“As I wrote, I wanted to add everything to my own garden. Oh, for a pond! Or a shepherd's Hut! For a week, I thought nothing would do but a pavilion. Gardening is dreaming.”
Susan’s book is one I find myself revisiting, and it is such a wonderful resource, it should be on your garden gift list - to give or receive.
SI HORTUM IN HORTORUM PODCASTUM IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.