This lovely and at times whimsical book will appeal to a wide range of people. Clare Leighton was a well-known woodcut artist and, when first published in the 1930s, her vigorous and very modern illustrations made this a best-seller. Today they have a charm which is still fresh.
The gentle text is a year in the garden, starting in April, and written throughout in the present tense. The trials and tribulations of creating a garden (Leighton says on the first page, "four years ago it was rough meadowland") are woven together with observations on the weather, wildlife and people.
A quiet contemplative book, ideal as a gift, worth having for the illustrations alone (many of the old copies have been razored for the woodcuts), and encouraging a thoughtful approach in the gardener. Most of the author's musings haven't dated at all; the ones that have bring us a faded period charm, not unlike watching David Suchet's "Poirot" on daytime television when you're nursing a cold.