Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life

by on May 16th, 2015
Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life Cover Image

Many of you know that I am a huge Beatrix Potter fan and as a children’s librarian, have been charmed by her 23 small books about Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck, Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny and her other animal friends for many years.  I have collected Beatrix Potter books and related merchandise my entire career and have displayed my collection at the Iowa City Public Library and the Coralville Public Library.  So when I accidentally came across Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life:  The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children’s Tales, needless to say, I was thrilled.  Oh, and did I tell you that I am a flower gardener?  Author Marta McDowell from the New York Botanical Garden gives an account of the famous children’s writer and illustrator’s life.  Included in the book are old photographs, quotes from Potter’s books, letters, book illustrations, journal entrees, and her beautiful watercolor sketches of flowers and book characters. The second part of the book is a seasonal overview of what is blooming in Potter’s gardens at Hill Top Farm and her other properties in the Lake District of England.  The book culminates in a traveler’s guide with information about visiting Potter’s home and gardens today.  Readers may not have known that Beatrix Potter left her privileged life in London to farm, raise sheep, write, garden, and conserve the beautiful landscapes in the north of England.  Most impressive are all the thousands of acres of land she left to the National Trust upon her death.  I’ve read several biographies about Beatrix Potter so I didn’t learn anything new about her life; however, her passion for gardening and the expert information by the author, a consulting horticulturalist, was most informative and a pleasure to read.  Someday I hope to travel to the Lake District and visit Hill Top Farm and before I do, I’ll re-read this fascinating book.

One Response to “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life”

  1. Kandy Maharas says:

    I too love lots of info about Beatrix – The movie “Miss Potter” is wonderful. I hope to visit someday as well. It was nice to read about your enthusiasm.

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