Sometimes, in the midst of a busy day, after a trying time, or just because I desperately need to feast my eyes on some natural beauty, I find myself drawn to a shelf in my library where my gardening books are. Books on weeding and wisdom and whimsy. If I”m looking for garden essays, botanical names, or some inspiration, there they are, waiting for me, like spring flowers waiting to be plucked.
It was to this shelf yesterday that I wandered, looking for blossoms and blooms and beauty on a bitter, cold day with snow on the ground here – in April. There it was, where last I left it. A Time to Blossom: Mothers, Daughters, and Flowers by Tovah Martin with photographs by Richard W. Brown.
I have appreciated Tovah Martin’s writing style and expertise since first reading her words in Tasha Tudor’s Garden, which is where I actually also came to love the photographs of Richard W. Brown. They have collaborated on several books. Tovah Martin also collaborated with artist/illustrator Marjolein Bastin, whose pictures and cards I simply adore. I have written about their work, View from a Sketchbook previously. I’ll admit, I’m a whimsical sort of gal, especially when it comes to gardening and nature (one of Tovah’s books is aptly titled Garden Whimsy).
It was A Time to Blossom that I needed yesterday, and today as well, and I just wanted to share it with all of you. I am so eager for this winter that hangs on and on and on to end and for spring to finally take hold, aren’t you? This lovely book will have to tide me over for a while longer, it seems.
A Time to Blossom takes us through the seasons with Tovah’s remembrances of climbing apple trees and tea parties and making hollyhock dolls and her adventure through childhood that led her to become a celebrated horticulturist, author, and lecturer. It is also a book about mothers and daughters and the way flowers and gardening participate in their relationships. It is a book to remind you of your own mother, or grandmother, daughter or granddaughter, or maybe another special woman in your life.
I think I’ll go spend just a little more time with Tovah Martin and Richard Brown before putting them back on the shelf. I’ll read through the seasons with instructions on making flower garlands and May baskets, or the joy of lanterns and lilies. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll settle on just the chapter on spring and I’ll try to be content for now. After all, at least the daffodils bloomed.