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We Made a Garden

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She was a regular contributor to Amateur Gardening and The Field, and has written six other gardening books.

Margery Townshend was born on 5 August 1892 at 16 Eastbank, Stamford Hill, now part of the London Borough of Hackney, as the second of the four daughters of Ernest Townshend (died 1926), a commercial traveller in tea, and his wife Florence Harriet, née Buttfield (died 1920). She became interested especially in unfashionable green hellebores and other shade-loving spring flowers. These included Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote Manor, Gloucestershire, the garden designer Nancy Lindsay, and the Somerset neighbour Violet Clive of Brympton d'Evercy, an equally passionate gardener.With the exception of February the garden is closed on all Sundays and Mondays including Bank Holiday Mondays. What Mrs Fish created at East Lambrook Manor, was a grand cottage garden on a domestic scale, she wrote, “It is pleasant to know each one of your plants intimately because you have chosen and planted every one of them. Barnsley, with its lively pink flowers gave us several gorgeous years of flowers from spring through November, but finally gave up.

Thanks to a national house-building program, some people now had gardens of their own for the first time. It is an enchanting place: so much more restful than those gardens that have been manicured to within an inch of their lives by massed ranks of National Trust professionals. The beautiful and timeless We Made a Garden recounts the trials and tribulations, successes and failures, of her venture with ease and humor--from choosing the most suitable hyssop for the terraced garden to battling with her husband on the best approach. The battle of wills between them was described in the first of her gardening books, We Made a Garden (1956), which is as much about a difficult marriage as about the difficulties of starting a garden from scratch. This might have been first published in the fifties but the fact its still available is testimony to how good it is.Margery went on to record their battle for control in her 1956 book, We Made A Garden; with its passive aggressive tone, it is as much about their marriage as the garden, yet it is still a horticultural classic to be read and re-read. The mission spent three years in the USA and Margery was awarded the MBE in recognition of her contribution. Middleton of the radio program In Your Garden, Britain’s gardeners had dutifully given over their plots to vegetables. First, there is the garden that Walter wanted: a regimented suburban parade of paths and lawns and dahlias. From Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel Cooke Copyright © 2014 by Rachel Cooke.

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