[Hortus] (David Wheeler, ed.)
- By Pen & by Spade An Anthology of Garden Writing; Foreword by Roy Strong
Alan Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, 1990.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 248pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Some mild spotting to the the text block edges. Dustwrapper sunned along the spine panel. Very good. "David Wheeler is the owner of the garden, called the Neuadd, which means the Hall in Welsh. He is editor and publisher of Hortus, a gardening quarterly that he founded in 1987, the year he moved from Surrey. His editorials, which have charted his move and the continual revelations of his Welsh garden, are only one of the ingredients that make Hortus a garden journal with a difference. Like its Latin name, which means garden, Hortus is devoted simply to the pleasures of the gardening experience. 'With so much emphasis today on the scientific and how-to aspects of horticulture, gardening itself had almost become a dirty word,' said Mr. Wheeler. He seeks instead essays of a more literate nature on the decorative aspects of gardening from a circle of not just garden writers. Many articles have explored literary gardens as well, like those found in the works of Milton, Jane Austen and Henry James. For his first issues, he garnered such well-known English writers and garden practitioners as Dame Sylvia Crowe, Penelope Hobhouse and Ronald Blythe. Because Hortus also demonstrates Mr. Wheeler's devotion to fine-quality printing, rare book dealers are stocking up on early issues for resale. .. In place of photographs, Mr. Wheeler commissions drawings or wood engravings for illustrations. 'Drawings capture aspects of plants and gardens that photographs never can,' he said. 'Also, I want drawings inside to equal the originality and imaginativeness of the texts.' ...'In essence, what I want to do,' he said, 'is to encourage the reader's mind to leap the garden wall.' - Paula Dietz
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