What happens when a lifelong gardener finally realizes he must collaborate with Mother Nature, rather than work against her, to achieve his dream of creating the perfect garden? In this delightful and thoughtful narrative journey of horticultural discovery, Bill Terry asks how and even why we garden, and to what end.
These are personal stories, thoughts, and ideas about the “perfect” garden interspersed with humorous imagined conversations with Mother Nature herself. As he works in his West Coast garden, choosing wild roses over fancy hybrid teas, and discarding man-made cultivars in favour of the charm and simplicity of peonies, hellebores, and tulips, Terry learns to welcome and encourage happy accidents, greatly reducing the work and effort required to maintain order (as most gardeners seek to do), and embrace a substantial measure of disorder.
The perfect garden, he discovers, respects both Mother Nature’s demands—by integrating endemic plants, and choosing natural species and varieties—and the gardener’s personality—expressing their own taste and creativity, and embodying private memories. This is a witty collection of reflections that will appeal to gardeners everywhere