Roald Dahl

A Giant Peach

Today is the birthday of the British author, Roald Dahl, who was born on this day in 1916.

Today, his birthday is celebrated all over the world as Roald Dahl Day.
Dahl was an avid gardener. In fact, his garden shed doubled as his writing nook, where he wrote many books, including Charlie and the Chocolate factory. As romantic a notion as this sounds to a gardener's ears, it was also a pragmatic decision on the part of Dahl's wife. Dahl chain-smoked as he wrote, and the garden shed kept the smoke out of the house. For Dahl's part, he loved the idea of using the garden shed as a place to write, especially after seeing the little writing hut used by the author Dylan Thomas.
Gardeners with a passion for roses will no doubt praise the Roald Dahl Rose, which honored Dahl's love of gardening. It's an absolutely stunning English shrub rose bred by David Austin. It's got a very blousy habit and scrumptious peach blooms that just go non-stop. They have a lovely fragrance as well - and not many thorns, so that's a bonus.
Dahl's diaries have marvelous entries about his garden, and he was often inspired by his garden, which you can ascertain when you read in his work. H ere are some examples:

From Matilda:
"I liked The Secret Garden best of all. It was full of mystery."
From My Year:
"There is just one small bright spark shining through the gloom in my January garden. The first snowdrops are in flower."
From James and the Giant Peach:
"And now suddenly, the whole place, the whole garden seemed to be alive with magic...”
From The BFG:
“But Mr Tibbs didn’t hesitate for long. ‘Tell the head gardener,’ he whispered, ‘that I require immediately a brand new unused garden fork and also a spade. And for a knife we shall use the great sword hanging on the wall in the morning-room. But clean the sword well first. It was last used to cut off the head of King Charles the First and there may still be a little dried blood on the blade.”
From Roald Dahl:
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary How does yr garden grow? 'I live with my brat in a high-rise flat, So how in the world would I know.'

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Roald Dahl
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