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Cottage Garden Flowers [Paperback]

Margery Fish
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Feb 1980
Many of the plants described in Cottage Garden Flowers were used by Margery Fish herself in her famous garden at East Lambrook in Somerset, England. No longer in danger of being forgotten, these traditional flowering plants have now re-established their place at the heart of garden design.

As Fish explains, cottage gardens -- evolving as they did to make the maximum use of small spaces around modestly sized homes -- allow for the greatest variety and seasonal change within a relatively confined area. Such plantings transfer in spirit and practice to the city gardener, likewise cramped for space. But cottage garden plantings also appeal through their use of easy, adaptable bulbs, perennials and shrubs - such as Astrantia, Columbines, Daffodils, Daisies, Dianthus, Foxgloves, Hollyhocks, Japonica, Old Roses, Phlox, Primula or Viburnum.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Reprint edition (4 Feb 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571114628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571114627
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 452,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important classic, still worth reading 7 Dec 2011
By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER
Read this passionately-written book to discover why, thanks to Margery Fish, you can now walk into a garden centre or nursery and buy easy, tolerant hardy plants that will grow undisturbed in your garden for a lifetime; plants with evocative "common" names like Solomon's Seal, London Pride and Naked Ladies.

Margery Fish was, in her day, one of the most famous garden writers, and her garden at East Lambrook Manor in Somerset was an inspiration for a whole generation of gardeners. This book is her plea for gardeners to rediscover, and re-evaluate, the traditional hardy plants which had once filled the gardens of ordinary houses all over Britain. By 1961, changes in fashion and taste meant those same gardens were now filled with bedding plants and dwarf conifers, and many of the old favourite flowers were in danger of becoming extinct.

This is an intensely personal account, and the author's style draws you in, building a picture of the plants and gardens more colourful (and fragrant) than the colour photographs the book obviously lacks. The black and white illustrations are mostly portraits of particular gardens, the cottages shown in the background; we are used to seeing this sort of thing in glossy magazines, but today's gardens have been restored to cottage style by gardeners influenced by Margery Fish; by the time the book was published these were rare and genuine survivals, not the trendy weekend homes of bankers and architects.

From this book you'll reap the benefit of a lifetime of experience; the cultural details and useful tips that most gardening books ignore. Here you'll also learn all about the folklore of the plants, their sentimental associations and traditional uses - plus a lot about the social background of the cottagers' way of life.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Review of book 27 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whilst the descriptions of cottage garden flowers are good,it would have been nice to have had some pictures,and even some suggestions of lay-out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The great Madge 14 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although written some time ago now this is another book by Madge that should be read by anyone wanting to open their eyes to the wonders of the traditional Cottage Garden. Although a self taught Margery's background in the media means this like all her books are clear consise but always a great read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Dream of Gardens Past 23 July 2010
Cottage Garden Flowers by Margery Fish defies categorisation, yes it is a book on horticulture but one can read it today as a `how-to' garden book, a primary source for attitudes to garden design in the late 1950s/early 60s or a charming example of English as it was written around fifty years ago. As a `how-to' book despite Margery Fish's expertise in horticulture it is flawed, namely it lacks colour illustrations, so sometimes one has to use a gardening encyclopaedia to check which plants are being discussed. Indeed, the few illustrations that do exist in the book lack clarity and are of little help to the reader. On the other hand, if you are happy to read this book for its old-fashioned style you are in for a treat. I know nothing of Margery Fish but if her writing is representative of her character one can imagine her in tweeds, twin-set and pearls dispensing her gardening wisdom in a strident upper class English accent to the vicar. It is this view into the past which makes me enjoy this book so much, if you yearn for some garden related nostalgia dig out a copy, settle down with an Earl Gray and enjoy a trip to a bygone age.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely 7 Aug 1998
By A Customer - Published on
I borrowed this book from the library and would love a copy of it. Reading this book is like sitting with a favourite Aunt discussing gardening. Her descriptions of flowers are at times hilarious and always filled with useful information. She lists a lot of the "old" flowers. The ones to watch for and beg from any gardener who might be willing to part with them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 Aug 2014
By nancy deSouza - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I find she goes into great detail, about the floowers to create a great cottage garden!
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