Saturday, May 31, 2008

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

I have to confess that I never finished this book. I found it to be unreadable. At first I thought it was because she writes of many plants that I cannot grow in my NJ garden. Or perhaps it was because I couldn't relate to what was blooming in her garden during the winter months when my own gardens are completely bare.

About halfway through the book, I realized that it was the quality of the writing. I was terribly disappointed in the Ms. Lawrence's writing. Many columns started out well, but it was sadly apparent that she could not figure out how to end them. Other columns were merely laundry lists of plants.

I understood when I began the book that it was a collection of columns written for a newspaper. And I can readily imagine the pressure of having to crank out columns on a regular basis. Unlike a book where one can take one's time and edit and rewrite until one is satisfied, it is understandable that not every piece written under the duress of a deadline will be a literary gem.

Sadly, I have put the book aside. Perhaps I would enjoy Ms. Lawrence's other books. This collection of columns was not my cup of tea.

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