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Of Leaf and Flower: Stories and Poems for Gardeners

Of Leaf and Flower: Stories and Poems for Gardeners Charles Dean and Clyde Wachsberger (editors)

Winner of the 2002 Garden Writers Association of America's Garden GlobeAward for Illustration

The answers to many gardening questions can be found in how-to manuals and essays, but who can fathom the passions behind the obsessions? Why do we get down on our hands and knees in the mud in March or return to the garden for one last look before dark? Only the storytellers and poets can tell us. The twelve short stories and twelve poems collected here celebrate the irresistible emotions that plants inspire. A beautiful flower arouses the desire to possess in "The Lily" by H.E. Bates and "The Fable of the Rhododendron Stealers" by Sylvia Plath. In William Saroyan's "The Pomegranate Trees," a man plants fruit trees from his native Armenia and then goes to extremes to keep them alive in the California desert. Robert Graves's humorous story, "Earth to Earth," is set during the Second World War and reveals the secret ingredient in uniquely potent compost; and in Billy Collins's "Bonsai," a miniature tree changes our perspective on the whole world.  Also included are Mary Austin, Kate Chopin, Amy Clampitt, Eugenia Collier, Mark Doty, Robert Frost, O. Henry, Josephine Jacobsen, Sarah Orne Jewett, Howard Nemerov, Kathleen Raine, Christopher Reid, Saki, James Schuyler, William Carlos Williams and Cynthia Zarin, with twelve elegant black-and-white sumi paintings of plants by Clyde Wachsberger enhancing the collection. There is no better way to cultivate a gardener's passions during the long winter months than through this beautiful and moving book. 

Praise for the Book:
"[Offers] the wild rewarding pleasures of insight, empathy, and deep green communication--a warm and moody collection." —Robert Dash, author of Notes from Madoo: The Making of a Garden in the Hamptons

"Blistered and scratched, mud-spattered and grimy, gardeners not only coax life from the soil through their sweat and strain but also with the faith and devotion that their efforts will be rewarded with a bit of beauty and sustenance...Gardeners are, if nothing else, receptive souls in tune to the life that flows around them. Dean and Wachsberger celebrate these sensitivities in 24 lustrous poems and stories harvested from the work of some of America and Britain's most acclaimed authors, contributors who...explore the motivation and mystery behind gardening, the most ancient of human activitites, in a sumptuous anthology adorned with elegant sumi ink illustrations."—Carol Haggas, Booklist

About the Authors:
Charles Dean is the assistant maitre d' at The Carlyle Hotel in New York City and an avid city gardener. Clyde Wachsberger is a landscape designer in Southold, New York, and writes a gardening column for North Fork Country. He has had several one-man shows of his watercolors featuring Long Island gardens and landscapes. 

Hardcover/$21.95 (Can $24.00)/ISBN: 978-0-89255-269-6/192 pages/Anthology, Poetry & Fiction/Gardening

Persea Books