by Beverley Nichols
All week long, The Daily Gardener is sharing excerpts from the author Beverley Nichols, who was born on this day in 1898.
Nichols is remembered for his writing and his love of gardening and cats. Nichols wrote over 60 books - but he is best remembered for his gardening books.
In the book we discussed yesterday, Down the Garden Path, Nichols wrote about his adventures with a country garden; in Green Grows the City, Nichols described how he planned and created an oasis in a suburb of London.
In his book, Nichols told how he changed a London "backyard" into a thing of beauty. The first thing Nichols did was to carry many of his shrubs, plants, and seeds to his City Garden. When Nichols first spied the property, he said it was "the ugliest, most desolate strip of ground that can ever have been trodden by human feet, outside the no man's land of the Great War."
Nichols wrote the book during wartime. I ran across an ad for Green Grows the City that was featured in The Observer on October 2, 1939, and it said this about the book:
"An Ideal book for the Blackout. It will help you to forget war and to think only of the lovely things of this earth."
That's why today's excerpt from this book alludes to war. Nichol's wrote:
“We both know, you and I, that if all men were gardeners, the world, at last, would be at peace.”
And, it was Beverley Nichols who said, “To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat."