I just finished reading and I shall have some peace there by Margaret Roach. In 2008 Margaret left her job as editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to live and garden in upstate New York.
This book is about Margaret’s journey into her new life. This journey introduces you to her adventure of self discovery, birds, plants, frogs, cats, misc wildlife, local friends, tractors, apples, and, most significantly for me—snakes.
All through this very entertaining book, Margaret confronts, deals with and sort of conquers her fear of snakes. As she did … so did I.
Each year I encounter at least one snake in my garden and, unlike Margaret, my encounters are with the small and non-poisonous varieties.
Margaret said, “But again and again, I retreat to the safety of the reference books to find something that will help me feel at ease, playing to the comfort of intellect rather than the feelings all of this provokes. Facts have always been my magical thinking; if I put enough of them in my pockets, like Hansel with his crumbs, I can walk a few steps farther into the woods.”
So, here’s to you Margaret … now I too “can walk a few steps farther.” But, I don’t mind telling you that I feel more confident with my Wellies on!
The lesson I have thoroughly learned, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. -Gertrude Jekyll
Gertrude Jekyll (29 November 1843 – 8 December 1932; last name pronounced / JEE-kəl) was an influential British garden designer, writer and artist. She created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and the USA and contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines. She wrote over fifteen books, ranging from Wood and Garden and her most famous book Colour in the Flower Garden.
Gertrude was instrumental in the creation of the English Country Garden style (my personal favorite). This style moved away from the highly formal Victorian garden toward a greater freedom in planting and the inclusion of a wider variety of plants. Attributes included brick paths and herbaceous borders planted with lilies, lupines and lavenders (YES!). She worked almost exclusively with Edwin Lutyens, a British architect, who she met in 1889 and commissioned to design her own house.
Fun Fact: Her brother, Walter, was a friend of the author, Robert Louis Stevenson; his name may have been borrowed for the title of his famous Jekyll and Hyde story.