PHYLLIS ODESSEY

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!

Tell Me Something
 I Don’t Know!
PRIVATE GARDENS OF CONNECTIUCT
Jane Garmey at the New York Horticultural Society
Delicious Solitude is what Jane Garmey wanted to call her new book.  Her editor said no way!  Instead, we have the straight-forward title, Private Gardens of Connecticut.
Connecticut is the 3rd smallest state in the union, and one of  the wealthiest. The gardens Ms. Garmey highlighted in her talk at the Hort Society  are owned by Oscar de la Renta, Agnes Gund, Bunny Williams, Ann Bass, etc., etc., etc.  The influences she sited:  Russell Page, Piet Oudolf, Le Notre, Walter Beck.

Ms. Garmey’s thesis: The garden is essentially a private place.  Perhaps this sense of privacy prevented her from probing some important questions; such as insight into the making of the gardens or design intention.   In the end, Private Gardens of Connecticut is a book of very good photographs by John M. Hall and not much else. 

 The Writer in the Garden edited by Garmey  has been on my bookshelf for years. It is full of rich tidbits from famous gardeners.  It’s book I return to again and again.  “Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination,” said Alice Morse Earle in 1897.  I only wish Ms. Garmey used her imagination a bit more in this new book. 
To keep on attending lectures, talks, etc., I have learned two things.:
you  have to be an optimist and go with no expectations.

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