• Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond with Elizabeth Lawrence

    Author(s):
    Editor(s): Ann L. Armstrong, Lindie Wilson
    Pages: 272
    Illustrations: 9 illustrations, 1 map
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $34.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-3887-1
  • Paperback: $21.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5776-6
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  • Acknowledgments xiii

    Introduction xv

    Note to the Reader xxi

    One: Seasonal Flowers

    Garden Resolutions 1

    Flowers for Christmas Time 3

    Flowers Greet the New Year 5

    Winter Flowers 7

    The Green Winter 8

    A Hard Winter 9

    Bamboo 11

    Storm Damage 13

    The Merry Month of May 14

    Tender Perennials for Hot-Weather Gardens 16

    Flowers in the Fall Border 18

    Fragrance in the Garden 19

    Fall Additions to the Border 21

    Sow Hardy Annual Seeds During September 22

    Planting Annuals in Autumn 24

    Late-Blooming Flowers 25

    The Gardening Year Is Just Beginning 27

    Two: Perennials and Annuals

    Planting in Relays 29

    Badge of Gardening Includes Black Knees 31

    Gardening Surprises 33

    The Law of Supply and Demand 34

    Variegated Foliage 36

    Selections for the Rock Garden 38

    Tropical Plants 39

    Annuals 41

    Sweet Peas 43

    Peony 45

    Tree Peonies and Others 46

    Clematis also Flowers in Shade 48

    Beautiful Lilies 49

    Asteromoea mongolica-- Kalimeris pinnatifida 51

    Hellebores 53

    The Christmas Rose and Other Hellebores 54

    Giridlian . . . A Master of Plants 56

    Night-Blooming Cereus 58

    The Dividends of Fall Planting 59

    Savannah Lands of East Carolina 61

    Petasites 62

    Three: Bulbs, Corms, and Tubers

    Planting Bulbs, Corms, and Tubers 65

    Bulbs Through the Seasons 66

    Some Early Spring Bulbs 68

    Daffodils Need Early Start 70

    Specialty Bulbs 72

    Crown Imperials 73

    Lycoris radiata 75

    Amaryllis Family 77

    The Surprise Lily 78

    Lilies Grow Where None Were 79

    Garden Casualties 81

    Four: Trees and Shrubs

    Planting for Ice Storms 83

    Plants for Parking Strips 85

    Flowering Trees for the City 86

    Street Trees 88

    Trees with Colored Bark 90

    Witch Hazels 92

    Flowering Cherries 93

    Serviceberries and Sloes 95

    Dogwoods 97

    Buckeyes 98

    Eucalyptus 100

    Honey Locust 102

    Osmanthus 103

    Hollies 105

    Conifers 106

    Firs and Cedars 108

    Flowering Shrubs 110

    March-Flowering Shrubs 111

    Viburnums and Other Flowering Shrubs 113

    June-Flowering Shrubs 114

    Viburnums 116

    Pyracanthas 118

    Nandinas 119

    Hydrangeas 121

    Sasanquas 122

    Camellia saluenensis 124

    E. A. Bowles's Lunatics 125

    Five: Vegetables and Herbs, Climbers and Creepers

    Fall Vegetables 129

    Two Vegetable Gardens 130

    Mrs. Hobbs and Her Herbs 132

    Sweet Woodruff 134

    Dandelions 136

    Vines Are Useful Tools 137

    Smilax 139

    Clematis Hybrids 140

    Akebia and Rosa banksiae 142

    Ground Covers 144

    Ground Covers Pose Problems 146

    Tiny Creepers 148

    Six: Gardeners and Gardens

    Wing Haven 151

    Importance of Garden Details 152

    Steps in Your Garden 154

    Walks and Paths 156

    Terraces and Patios 158

    Water in the Garden 159

    Mr. Krippenndorf's Garden 161

    Physic Garden at the Country Doctor Museum 162

    Mr. Busbee's Garden 164

    A Visit to Italy's Oldest Botanic Garden 166

    Colette's Mother's Garden 167

    The Splendor of Royal Gardens 169

    Gotelli's Collection of Dwarf Conifers 171

    The Scented Garden 172

    The Gardens of a Soldier's Wife 174

    Pioneer Seedsman 176

    Young Belgian Guided Southern Horticulture 177

    Meet Caroline Dormon 179

    She Talks to the Birds 181

    The Hunt Arboretum 182

    Seven: Gods, Legends, and Rituals

    The Gods of the Garden 185

    The Ash, a Symbol in History 187

    The Tale of the Magical Hawthorn Tree 189

    The Holy Thorn Blooms for Royalty 190

    The Christian Year Parallels the Garden Year 192

    Holiday Wreaths 194

    The Advent Wreath 196

    Legend and Lore of the Christmas Tree 197

    International Christmas Trees 199

    The Flowers of the Trinity 201

    The Flowers of Passiontide 203

    The Story of the Passion Flower 205

    Rituals of the Palms 206

    Rogation Days-- The Blessing of the Crops 208

    Eight: Bits and Pieces

    Asafetida 211

    Feeding the Birds 213

    Honey 214

    Organic Gardening 216

    Pruning 218

    Pruning Should Be Done Every Day 219

    Historic Flower Arrangements 221

    Bouquet Carried Messages 223

    Pomanders 224

    Creatures Add to a Garden 226

    Index 229
  • Beautiful at All Seasons is to be sipped, as wine; not gulped, as soda pop. One or two pieces an evening will do very well; reading wherever the book falls open yields pleasure. A word of caution: Dirty fingernails may result. Sharing Lawrence’s zest for gardening is sure to stir an urge to stick a spade, and fingers, in the soil."

    “[I]nformative and often lyrical.”

    “[T]he columns constitute an invaluable resource for nature lovers and others who relish literary allusions. . . . As inspiring today as when they were first published, the columns collected in Beautiful at All Seasons showcase not only Lawrence’s vast knowledge but also her intimate, conversational writing style and her lifelong celebration of gardens and gardening.”

    “[This] attractive book offers information and advice on a wide range of plants and a myriad of gardening topics. Armstrong and Wilson’s choice to arrange the essays in the book by subject matter provides the reader a valuable resource on plant material to which he/she may return over and over. The book’s exhaustive and helpful index augments its practical usability.”

    “Fans of Elizabeth Lawrence will want to get their hands on Beautiful at All Seasons. . . . Those unfamiliar with Lawrence will find themselves enchanted with her thoughtful and conversational writing, akin to a modern day blog.”

    “Fifty years after her columns for the Charlotte Observer were first published, Elizabeth Lawrence inspires a new generation of garden enthusiasts. Her vast knowledge of plants delights both novice and experienced gardeners.”

    “Gardeners will want it for the advice, but those who do not dig in the dirt will enjoy these short, informative and conversational essays.”

    “Here are revealed Lawrence’s wide gardening interests—plant culture, lore and literature, flowers of the church calendar, and correspondence with literary luminaries. . . . Elizabeth had a graceful writing style—warm, engaging, and conversation-like.”

    “It is the clearly personal tone which makes [Lawrence’s] columns worth reading, much as one might talk to a colleague. One can agree or disagree but the chat is never dull.”

    “Lawrence displays the virtues of a dedicated plantswoman: she is generous, patient, watchful and above all curious as she delves into the histories of her favorite plants or consults her favorite experts . . . on the more arcane aspects of plant lore.”

    “Ms. Lawrence's voice is delightful—and not just for its contagious enthusiasm. Often her seemingly incidental asides become small quaint observations.”

    “Reading these essays is like picking through a box of fine chocolates, each one to be savored, carefully nibbled and melted in your mouth. . . . Reading Lawrence reminds us that gardening is a way to connect to our community, our history and traditions and ultimately to the world around us. This is one for the bedside table.”

    “This book is filled with unusual facts. If you're not even a gardener, you will enjoy reading about these plants and herbs. . . . This book is a real treasure.”

    “This collection is possessed of many virtues. Though the columns were written decades ago, they are not dated, offering ideas, descriptions, and tips that are valid both now and in the future. One virtue is that the collection can be used as a reference book for plants that will easily snuggle into Southern gardens, from peonies and hellebores to hydrangeas and smilax. . . . But more—much more—recommends this book than its undoubted value as a reference volume. Lawrence's way with words enchants.”

    “This slender volume, packed with grace, renders it all for you in a marvelous package.”

    "I knew Lawrence well enough from previous books that, rather than jumping about to read columns of particular interest first, I began at the beginning and went through to the end. It was stopping that was disappointing, for Lawrence's writing is so filled with wit, color, interesting stories of plants and gardeners and Lawrence's own likes and dislikes that I want more. I marked the book in a shameful way, underlining and writing notes in the margins. I want to be able to savor my first pleasure again and again in future readings."

    "The book is extremely enjoyable and a must for every gardener on the planet as well as for those who simply wish to embark once again on a lovely journey with Elizabeth Lawrence."

    Reviews

  • Beautiful at All Seasons is to be sipped, as wine; not gulped, as soda pop. One or two pieces an evening will do very well; reading wherever the book falls open yields pleasure. A word of caution: Dirty fingernails may result. Sharing Lawrence’s zest for gardening is sure to stir an urge to stick a spade, and fingers, in the soil."

    “[I]nformative and often lyrical.”

    “[T]he columns constitute an invaluable resource for nature lovers and others who relish literary allusions. . . . As inspiring today as when they were first published, the columns collected in Beautiful at All Seasons showcase not only Lawrence’s vast knowledge but also her intimate, conversational writing style and her lifelong celebration of gardens and gardening.”

    “[This] attractive book offers information and advice on a wide range of plants and a myriad of gardening topics. Armstrong and Wilson’s choice to arrange the essays in the book by subject matter provides the reader a valuable resource on plant material to which he/she may return over and over. The book’s exhaustive and helpful index augments its practical usability.”

    “Fans of Elizabeth Lawrence will want to get their hands on Beautiful at All Seasons. . . . Those unfamiliar with Lawrence will find themselves enchanted with her thoughtful and conversational writing, akin to a modern day blog.”

    “Fifty years after her columns for the Charlotte Observer were first published, Elizabeth Lawrence inspires a new generation of garden enthusiasts. Her vast knowledge of plants delights both novice and experienced gardeners.”

    “Gardeners will want it for the advice, but those who do not dig in the dirt will enjoy these short, informative and conversational essays.”

    “Here are revealed Lawrence’s wide gardening interests—plant culture, lore and literature, flowers of the church calendar, and correspondence with literary luminaries. . . . Elizabeth had a graceful writing style—warm, engaging, and conversation-like.”

    “It is the clearly personal tone which makes [Lawrence’s] columns worth reading, much as one might talk to a colleague. One can agree or disagree but the chat is never dull.”

    “Lawrence displays the virtues of a dedicated plantswoman: she is generous, patient, watchful and above all curious as she delves into the histories of her favorite plants or consults her favorite experts . . . on the more arcane aspects of plant lore.”

    “Ms. Lawrence's voice is delightful—and not just for its contagious enthusiasm. Often her seemingly incidental asides become small quaint observations.”

    “Reading these essays is like picking through a box of fine chocolates, each one to be savored, carefully nibbled and melted in your mouth. . . . Reading Lawrence reminds us that gardening is a way to connect to our community, our history and traditions and ultimately to the world around us. This is one for the bedside table.”

    “This book is filled with unusual facts. If you're not even a gardener, you will enjoy reading about these plants and herbs. . . . This book is a real treasure.”

    “This collection is possessed of many virtues. Though the columns were written decades ago, they are not dated, offering ideas, descriptions, and tips that are valid both now and in the future. One virtue is that the collection can be used as a reference book for plants that will easily snuggle into Southern gardens, from peonies and hellebores to hydrangeas and smilax. . . . But more—much more—recommends this book than its undoubted value as a reference volume. Lawrence's way with words enchants.”

    “This slender volume, packed with grace, renders it all for you in a marvelous package.”

    "I knew Lawrence well enough from previous books that, rather than jumping about to read columns of particular interest first, I began at the beginning and went through to the end. It was stopping that was disappointing, for Lawrence's writing is so filled with wit, color, interesting stories of plants and gardeners and Lawrence's own likes and dislikes that I want more. I marked the book in a shameful way, underlining and writing notes in the margins. I want to be able to savor my first pleasure again and again in future readings."

    "The book is extremely enjoyable and a must for every gardener on the planet as well as for those who simply wish to embark once again on a lovely journey with Elizabeth Lawrence."

  • “Southern gardeners and beyond will welcome the availability of a new trove of Elizabeth Lawrence’s renowned Charlotte Observer columns. Her writing style is personal and conversational and literary in approach, engaging and warm.” — Bobby J. Ward, coeditor of, A Garden of One’s Own: Writings of Elizabeth Lawrence

    “A new book of garden essays by the incomparable Elizabeth Lawrence is a cause for celebration. A page a day will keep the garden—and you—happy.” — Emily Herring Wilson, author of, No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence

    “All gardeners will welcome this splendidly edited collection of essays by Elizabeth Lawrence. They will delight in her elegant prose and subtle humor and will marvel at her breadth of knowledge of plants and literature. I could hardly put it down.” — Nancy Goodwin, author of, Montrose: Life in a Garden

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  • Description

    Elizabeth Lawrence (1904–85) is recognized as one of America’s most important gardeners and garden writers. In 1957, Lawrence began a weekly column for the Charlotte Observer, blending gardening lore and horticultural expertise gained from her own gardens in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, and from her many gardener friends. This book presents 132 of her beloved columns. Never before published in book form, they were chosen from the more than 700 pieces that she wrote for the Observer over fourteen years.

    Lawrence exchanged plants and gardening tips with everyone from southern “farm ladies” trading bulbs in garden bulletins to prominent regional gardeners. She corresponded with nursery owners, everyday backyard gardeners, and literary luminaries such as Katharine White and Eudora Welty. Her books, including A Southern Garden, The Little Bulbs, and Gardens in Winter, inspired several generations of gardeners in the South and beyond.

    The columns in this volume cover specific plants, such as sweet peas, hellebores, peonies, and the bamboo growing outside her living-room window, as well as broader topics including the usefulness of vines, the importance of daily pruning, and organic gardening. Like all of Lawrence’s writing, these columns are peppered with references to conversations with neighbors and quotations from poetry, mythology, and correspondence. They brim with knowledge gained from a lifetime of experimenting in her gardens, from her visits to other gardens, and from her extensive reading.

    Lawrence once wrote, “Dirty fingernails are not the only requirement for growing plants. One must be as willing to study as to dig, for a knowledge of plants is acquired as much from books as from experience.” As inspiring today as when they first appeared in the Charlotte Observer, the columns collected in Beautiful at All Seasons showcase not only Lawrence’s vast knowledge but also her intimate, conversational writing style and her lifelong celebration of gardens and gardening.

    About The Author(s)

    Elizabeth Lawrence was the author of A Southern Garden, The Little Bulbs (also published by Duke University Press), Gardens in Winter, and Lob’s Wood, as well as many other writings for newspapers, magazines, and gardening bulletins, some of which were collected in posthumous books including Gardening for Love and A Rock Garden in the South, both also published by Duke University Press. A graduate of Barnard College, she was the first woman to receive a degree in landscape architecture from North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University). Lawrence was awarded the Herbert Medal of the American Plant Life Society in 1943 and was honored by the American Horticultural Society and the National Council of State Garden Clubs for her writing.

    Ann L. Armstrong is a garden lecturer and writer in Charlotte, North Carolina. She wrote the Wing Haven Garden Journal, a garden planning and maintenance calendar. Lindie Wilson owns Elizabeth Lawrence’s former home in Charlotte, where for twenty years she has maintained the garden that Lawrence began in 1948.

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