English Beverley Nichols Down the Garden Path

ISBN 13: 9780881927108

Down the Garden Path

4.24 avg rating
( 564 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780881927108: Down the Garden Path

Down the Garden Path has stood the test of time as one of the world's best-loved and most-quoted gardening books. Ostensibly an account of the creation of a garden in Huntingdonshire in the 1930s, it is really about the underlying emotions and obsessions for which gardening is just a cover story. The secret of this book's success---and its timelessness---is that it does not seek to impress the reader with a wealth of expert knowledge or advice. Beverley Nichols proudly declares his status as a newcomer to gardening: "The best gardening books should be written by those who still have to search their brains for the honeysuckle's languid Latin name..." As unforgettable as the plants in the garden is the cast of visitors and neighbors who invariably turn up at inopportune moments. For every angelic Miss Hazlitt there is an insufferable Miss Wilkins waiting in the wings. For every thought-provoking Professor, there is an intrusive Miss M, whose chief offense may be that she is a 'damnably efficient' gardener. From a disaster building a rock garden, to further adventures with greenhouses, woodland gardens, not to mention cats and treacle, Nichols has left us a true gardening classic.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Beverley Nichols (1898–1983) was a prolific writer on subjects ranging from religion to politics and travel, in addition to authoring six novels, five detective mysteries, four children's stories, six autobiographies, and six plays. He is perhaps best remembered today for his gardening books. The first of them, Down the Garden Path, centered on his home and garden at Glatton and has been in print almost continuously since 1932. Merry Hall (1951) and its sequels Laughter on the Stairs (1953) and Sunlight on the Lawn (1956) document Nichols' travails in renovating a Georgian mansion and its gardens soon after the war. His final garden was at Sudbrook Cottage, which serves as the setting for Garden Open Today (1963) and Garden Open Tomorrow (1968). The progress of all three gardens was followed avidly by readers of his books and weekly magazine columns.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Mrs. M. stared at me with undisguised suspicion. 'Rock garden?' she cried. 'What do you mean ... rock garden?'

'By a rock garden,' I replied, 'I mean a garden containing a quantity of rocks.'

'But you haven't any rocks.'

'Not yet ... no.'

'Where are you going to get them?'

I had not the least idea where I was going to get them, so I said, in a sepulchral voice, 'They Are Coming,' rather
as though the skies might open at any moment and deluge us with a cascade of boulders.

'Yes ... but where from?'

'Yorkshire.' This was partly guess-work and partly memory, because I remembered reading in some book of a man
who had a quarry of stone in Yorkshire which he used to export.

Mrs. M snorted again. 'That'll cost you a pretty penny,' she said. I could hear signs of fierce envy in her voice.
She swung her string-bag backwards and forwards, and glared at my mountain. Then she said:

'But you're surely not just going to stuff a lot of rocks on all that mud?'

'Stuff them? No. I shan't stuff them.'

'Well ... throw them, then. You've got to have some sort of design.'

'I have.'

'What is it?'

'It is being Done For Me,' I said.

'By whom?'

I could think of nobody but Sir Edwin Lutyens, who designed Delhi. So I said, 'You will catch cold, Mrs. M., if you
stand in the wet grass.'

I am glad to be able to record that she did.

I was therefore committed to a rock garden. I spent a restless night, cursing myself for being so easily irritated
by Mrs. M. But on the following morning, when I again visited the pond and its accompanying mountain, the prospect
did not look so black. The site was promising. A fair slope led down to the pond. Two green arms of a hedge encircled
it. And over the pond towered the mountain, which had only to be slightly sat on, and carven into shape, and
decorated with roses, cunningly disposed, to be transformed into a rock garden.

So I fondly imagined.

I ordered the rocks. I was told that it was cheaper to order a truck-full, which would contain about eight tons.
It seemed a great deal, especially as they had to come all the way from Yorkshire. However I was assured that if
less were ordered 'it would come out much dearer in the end'. This commercial principle is usually to be
distrusted, for we learn by bitter experience that it is not cheaper to order, for example, ten yards of silk
for pyjamas when only three are required, or to buy a guinea bottle of hair oil when the three-shilling size
would do just as well. For it usually happens that we take a hatred to the silk, while the oil goes bad.
However, it was unlikely that the rocks would go bad. Besides, there constantly rose before me the sneering face
of Mrs. M. who did not believe that any rocks were coming at all.

She believed it, well enough, a few days later, when she had to drive four miles out of her way because the road
in front of my cottage was completely blocked by the collapse of an enormous van-full of best quality, fully
weathered Yorkshire rocks. She believed it still more when she discovered that she would be deprived of the services
of her odd man, who had secretly deserted her in order to earn double pay in transporting my rocks across the
field. He had transported them with such energy that he ruptured himself, and was confined to his bed for three
weeks.

At last the thing was done. All the rocks were safely ensconced in the mountain ... the big ones at the bottom,
the small ones at the top. Looking back at this adventure, it seems almost incredible that I could have been
such a fatuous and ignorant optimist as to imagine that this was the way to make a rock garden ... without any
plan, without even an adequate preparation of the soil. Yet I did imagine it ... until I saw it in being. Then I
realized that a very big and expensive mistake had been made.

The thing was horrible. It was utterly out of keeping with the quiet and rambling beauty of the rest of the
garden. I tried looking at it from this way and from that, half closing my eyes and putting my head on one
side. I regarded it before and after cocktail-time. It looked much worse after, which is a proof that alcohol
stimulates the aesthetic sense. No amount of self-hypnotism could persuade me that I liked it.

It reminded me of those puddings made of spongecake and custard, which are studded with almonds until they look
like some dreadful beast thrown up from the depths of the sea. It had no sort of design. It was so steep that
the earth was already showing signs of falling away in the slightest rain. The best I could say about it was that
it made a very good shelter from the wind.

Had it not been for Mrs. M. I should have destroyed it overnight. False pride made me keep it there for several
days. But there are stronger emotions than false pride. One morning, a few days later, I went out, saw the hideous
thing and decided that it could remain no longer. Urgently we summoned the same men who had put it together. By
the following afternoon, the earth had all been taken away, and deposited in a neighbouring field. There
remained only a quantity of rocks, scattered about the grass.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Beverley Nichols
Published by Timber Press, United States (2004)
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Timber Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Down the Garden Path has stood the test of time as one of the world s best-loved and most-quoted gardening books. Ostensibly an account of the creation of a garden in Huntingdonshire in the 1930s, it is really about the underlying emotions and obsessions for which gardening is just a cover story. The secret of this book s success - and its timelessness - is that it does not seek to impress the reader with a wealth of expert knowledge or advice. Beverley Nichols proudly declares his status as a newcomer to gardening: The best gardening books should be written by those who still have to search their brains for the honeysuckle s languid Latin name . As unforgettable as the plants in the garden is the cast of visitors and neighbors who invariably turn up at inopportune moments. For every angelic Miss Hazlitt there is an insufferable Miss Wilkins waiting in the wings. For every thought-provoking Professor, there is an intrusive Miss M, whose chief offense may be that she is a damnably efficient gardener. From a disaster building a rock garden, to further adventures with greenhouses, woodland gardens, not to mention cats and treacle, Nichols has left us a true gardening classic. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780881927108

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Beverley Nichols
Published by Timber Press, United States (2004)
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Timber Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Down the Garden Path has stood the test of time as one of the world s best-loved and most-quoted gardening books. Ostensibly an account of the creation of a garden in Huntingdonshire in the 1930s, it is really about the underlying emotions and obsessions for which gardening is just a cover story. The secret of this book s success - and its timelessness - is that it does not seek to impress the reader with a wealth of expert knowledge or advice. Beverley Nichols proudly declares his status as a newcomer to gardening: The best gardening books should be written by those who still have to search their brains for the honeysuckle s languid Latin name . As unforgettable as the plants in the garden is the cast of visitors and neighbors who invariably turn up at inopportune moments. For every angelic Miss Hazlitt there is an insufferable Miss Wilkins waiting in the wings. For every thought-provoking Professor, there is an intrusive Miss M, whose chief offense may be that she is a damnably efficient gardener. From a disaster building a rock garden, to further adventures with greenhouses, woodland gardens, not to mention cats and treacle, Nichols has left us a true gardening classic. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780881927108

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.91
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Beverley Nichols
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
READERS PRIDE
(PLANO, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. NEW Book in Mint Condition -- Great DEAL !! Fast Shipping -- Friendly Customer Service -- Buy with Confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # RP0881927104BN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Nichols, Beverley
Published by Timber Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Timber Press, 2004. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # H8-9780881927108

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.60
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Beverley Nichols
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
AMAZINGBOOKDEALS
(IRVING, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW. Fast Shipping. Prompt Customer Service. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # 0881927104BNA

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 21.51
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Nichols, Beverley
Published by Timber Press
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Terrace Horticultural Books
(St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Timber Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Text Figures By Rex Wistler (illustrator). Copyright Date: 1932 Octavo, 2010, PP.296, First From His Trilogy. Bookseller Inventory # 36037D13c

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 24.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Beverley Nichols
Published by Timber Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Timber Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0881927104

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 26.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Beverley Nichols
Published by Timber Press, Incorporated (2004)
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Timber Press, Incorporated, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0881927104

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 30.70
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Beverley Nichols
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97808819271081.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 28.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Nichols, Beverley/ Connon, Bryan (Foreward By)
Published by Timber Pr (2004)
ISBN 10: 0881927104 ISBN 13: 9780881927108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Timber Pr, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 3rd printing 2007 edition. 296 pages. 8.25x5.50x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0881927104

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 40.72
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.73
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book