Volume 1, Issue 2
Excerpt from a review by Plant Answer Line librarian Rebecca Alexander
Part biography, part garden photo essay, and part ventriloquist's act, Marta McDowell's Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life
(Timber Press, 2013) provides a window into Potter’s world. If you have
read her children's books, you will have a lasting impression of the
charming adventures of rabbits, hedgehogs, kittens, and ducks but you
may not think of Beatrix Potter as a botanical illustrator. I was
surprised to discover that the highly accomplished sketch of foxglove
and periwinkle on page 27 was made when she was only ten. The best
feature of this book is the gathering together of selected drawings and
watercolors of plants, fungi, and landscapes. Potter's natural history
illustrations (particularly of mushrooms) are featured in Ambleside's Armitt museum.
Potter was also a certifiable plant addict, and was not averse to
gathering cuttings and seeds in gardens not her own. Royalties from her
publications enabled her to acquire property and land, so she ended up
with several gardens in England's Lake District. Read the full review on our website.
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