Thirty-three Eminent Gardeners
on Their Favorite Rose
Edited by Wayne Winterrowd
Original Paintings by Pamela Stagg
Published by Frances Lincoln
Distributed by Bookwise International
nothing new can be written about the virtues and beauty of roses?
Hasn't everything that could be said, in a literary sense been said?
Well, sceptics, this hard-back will stifle those yawns.
American garden writer/editor
Wayne Winterrowd's formula is disarmingly simple just gather
32 eminent gardeners and ask them why roses are so loved; what roses
have that other flowers lack. The result is, as Winterrowd points
out, a book "made up of essays not so much about roses as about
personal memories of them".
Some writers, particularly
the British contingent, will need no introduction Graham
Stuart Thomas, Christopher Lloyd, David Austin among them. The American
voices may be less familiar. No matter: reminiscence and knowledge
overlap to engage and enchant the reader.
Favourite essays include
New York Times gardening columnist Ann Raver on her lost
rugosa, 'Roseraie de I'Hay', and novelist Jamaica Kincaid on her
edgy relationship with 'Alchymist'. Christopher Lloyd's heresies
raise a chuckle ("... I like roses when they are at their brief
best in your garden rather than mine"). Massachusetts landscape
designer Julie Moir Messervy's opening line is just as brazen: "I'll
admit it I never really liked roses very much."
Fergus Garrett, head
gardener at Lloyd's Great Dixter, and half Turkish, offers a delightful
insight on the rose's place in the Turkish culture and a couple
of recipes as well. Pamela Stagg's graceful watercolours are a striking
foil for the text.
A Celebration is a must for rosarians and an intriguing
read for the rest of us mere gardening mortals.
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH