Every tool has a tale to tell …
So begins A History of the Garden in Fifty Tools.
Garden tool history … really?
Admittedly, the subject come off dry as dirt. But in the hands of seasoned English author and garden guru Bill Laws, horticultural history finds fertile soil and yields a colorful harvest basket of fact and fancy for the literary gardener.
(Speaking of baskets—those oft-underappreciated gatherers of garden goodies—they’re celebrated on page 28.)
“The garden shed shelters some improbable stories,” Laws tells us, “From the Mayan and Mediterranean clay pot makers to the tale of the tailor, trimming the uniforms of English Redcoats, who invented the lawn mower; from the manic evolution of the seventeenth-century Dutch bulb planter to the plant container that created a movable orchard at Versailles; from the back story of Henry David Thoreau’s favorite hoe to Gertrude Jekyll’s homemade daisy digger.”
The rather subdued cover belies a cornucopia of lovely photos, sketches, and historical images scattered throughout. The book is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the trivia buff’s brain, beckoning hours of page turning and fact nibbling.
Just a little something to tide you over till your garden begins to give.