Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A year in books : March

Hello......... Well I have to say I really enjoyed last months read

It was Philippa Gregory's 'Earthly Joys' about the 17th century Botanist and  Gardener John Tradescant.

Reading this novel I discovered we have so many wonderful plants we have to thank him for, He introduced the Horse chestnut tree into the country, so I'd like to say a big thanks for that alone

As I just love our tree that stands in the garden by the Summerhouse.

 Tulips too.
(this pictures from last Spring, in our front garden)

The book spans his life and travels, collecting plants and designing some of the great gardens of the time and the extraordinary trade in Tulips 

One thousand pounds is paid for just one Semper Augustus Tulip bulb !!!
and that a fortune today, let alone then, I mean I do love a Tulip but I think things got a little out of hand.

As I said I really enjoyed the history and the gardening in this book and some of the book is set in my little corner of the world which was great as it was still recognisable to this day.  All in all a good read although I did lose interest part way through when he went off to war with the Duke of Buckingham but then I'm not a fan of the great waste that is war.

I've not read a lot of fact based historical novels before but it was so interesting I found myself

doing a bit of research online about this fascinating family. Who are brought so many plants that we now find in our gardens today, into the country and also openned the first museum open to the general public.  So now I'm planning on reading the next novel about his son's travels to America plant collecting.

Above is a knot garden planted up with the 1700 century plants the Tradescant would have been so familiar with. Both father and son were buried at this site which was once the churchyard of St Mary-at-Lambeth it is now the site of the Museum of Garden History I've put a link 'here'  
and this garden is dedicated to them.

Now for my March read

As I'm starting a new pacing treatment program for my ME/Lyme disease at the moment I decided to pick a less time demanding read.  As my reading time will be limited to only 10 minutes every other day.

Originally I planned to pick a anthology of poetry for this months read but it's hiding somewhere in the Summerhouse (probably in one of those safe places !!) so while I was looking for it I found this dear little book that I bought when we went to The Lake District a few years ago.

I just love Beatrix Potter's illustration, so hopefully you won't mind that I am picking this as my March read, well the stories are classics really.

Joining in with Laura and Circle of Pine trees the year in books
Happy Reading

Clare xx


  1. Wow! That tulip is beautiful!! :)

  2. Earthy Joys certainly sounds like an interesting read, especially for someone interested in gardening. I really like your photos. And what's not to like with Beatrix Potter?

  3. That must have been a great read Clare and then I see Beatrix Potter - well you know - she is so very special to me, I love her and her writings and beautiful little paintings! Fabulous!
    Those tulips blow me away, what beauty, what absolute delight - I can imagine your neighbours walking past your place just to keep looking at those gorgeous blooms!
    Take care of yourself! Joy x

  4. It is always nice to read something classic and I would say that Beatrix Potter falls into that category and when you are not reading, but spending time relaxing you can think about the stories and just relax into your thoughts! xx

  5. That's a horse chestnut tree?! Wow, I had no idea it looked like that. It's gorgeous. I love Philippa Gregory and for some reason I always want to read her books in springtime.

  6. Oh my, Clare. More books I want to read thanks to what you posted :) xx

  7. Will you read the other books in the Tradescant series? Well, there is at least one I know as I have it... Virgin Earth. I love her books, the favourite is The Little House which I have read several times now. Good luck with the new treatment too.

  8. I love Philippa Gregory's books, Earthly Joys wasn't my favourite but I did enjoy it overall. I read it whilst travelling in South America, I can picture myself with the book in a hammock!

  9. Its been ages since I read a Philippa Gregory and this is clearly one to add to the wish list. I love your illustrations and inspirations from the book and agree that my eyes might read over the war bits but I'll not be taking any notice. I've never read Beatrix Potter either so I may add this to my list too.

  10. This sounds like such a fascinating read and one that I will thoroughly enjoy. Your tulips last year were amazing, wow!!! Did you have to plant them again for this year as mine never seem to reappear??! I just love Beatrix, so I am sure you are going to have such a lovely time reading this and being inspired to draw beautiful pictures! Sending you heaps of love xoxo

    1. No the Tulips have been in the front garden for years and every year they pop right back, a few year we used so organic chicken poop pellets in the front garden and wow they love it the next year they were fab and have been every year since. Hope life is treating you kind. xxx

  11. Your Philippa Gregory book sounds very interesting, and I will look out for it. Oh those Tulips are beautiful as are your other pictures. I remember reading BP when I was small and loved them.
    Take care

  12. Ah, Beatrix Potter, nothing not to love there.