The book for February was Two Gardeners. This is the first time I participated in the book club and I am afraid to say how I honestly felt about this book. I don't want to hurt any feelings, but I think this was right up there with Vonnegut's Intruder in the Dust.
This book has very little to do with gardening. I really didn't learn anything about gardening. I did read extensively about spine surgery and dermatitis. Less than halfway into this book, Katharine White's letters to her southern friend Elizabeth Lawrence became more of a list of her current ailments and reasons why she had not written- than anything else.
It seems I liked Elizabeth Lawrence more. I was more familiar with the plants she grew and it seemed to me that she was a real gardener and a designer.
This opinion points out to me several things about myself. I am not very academic. I don't enjoy reading chit chat from 1960, I don't care who the author is!
I have read my Ruth Stout books over and over and they are from the '60s. I love these books and read them often. It is instructional and down to earth. But these ladies, they are for the more academically mature garden reader, I think. I became bored with the letters and they even became depressing as the book wore on. The letters tell of aches and pains and friends dying off and the inability to do physical work. Every night, I would put the book down on my nightstand and wonder why anyone would write about all that.
It turns out those ladies met. Once. (Don't you know the Southern lady finally came North-even though the Northern lady went right by the Southern lady twice a year on her way to Florida...)
After they met face to face, something happened. They did not write each other for a long time. Something must have happened during that luncheon in New York. The reader never discovers what the problem was, but it was really disturbing to me. What could have possibly bothered Elizabeth Lawrence enough that she would not write to Katharine White for almost a year? Up until then, she was the more loyal letter writer.
Another thing I learned was that I don't read for pleasure. I read to learn. Perhaps that is why I didn't enjoy the book as much as the others in the club did.
One good thing did come out of this reading. I discovered some really good design principle books suggested by another blogger! Right now, I am in the middle of planning the potager garden out back and am reading alot about the potager. Colleen has a list of books she is reading on her site. I have really become a big fan of Mrs. Greenthumbs and Cottage garden books!
I did get the next two books for the book club. I am excited to read them.
You know, I did learn one thing from this book. I will be planting species tulips in the fall. Lots and lots of them.