Deborah Kellaway wrote one of those tales I have a weakness for, the story of a garden reclaimed or created. “The Making of an English Country Garden” tells about the garden she and her husband built in Norfolk, England – a garden with “privacy, serenity, sheltered places for garden seats,” “a country garden filled with scented, old-fashioned flowers.” They began it on weekends, with three children in tow, and later lived there full time.
Kellaway wrote other books, including a study of Virginia Woolf and “Favourite Flowers” illustrated by the paintings of my favorite watercolor painter Elizabeth Blackadder. I like to think this tabletop of flowers might have come from Kellaway’s Norfolk garden (or maybe the Edinburgh garden of Blackadder).
Kellaway offers another take on the perennial question of why we like this activity so much:
“In the end, it is the ever-changing nature of a garden which holds the gardener captive: if things look unimaginative at noon, they will have revived with the spreading shadows by tea time.”
Or the warming days of July!