A classic in the literature of the garden, Green Thoughts
is a beautifully written and highly original collection of seventy-two essays, alphabetically arranged, on topics ranging from “Annuals” and “Artichokes” to “Weeds” and “Wildflowers.” An amateur gardener for over thirty years, Eleanor Perényi draws upon her wide-ranging knowledge of gardening lore to create a delightful, witty blend of how-to advice, informed opinion, historical insight, and philosophical musing. There are entries in praise of earthworms and in protest of rock gardens, a treatise on the sexual politics of tending plants, and a paean to the salubrious effect of gardening (see “Longevity”). Twenty years after its initial publication, Green Thoughts
remains as much a joy to read as ever.
This Modern Library edition is published with a new Introduction by Allen Lacy, former gardening columnist for The Wall Street Journal
and The New York Times
and the author of numerous gardening books.
“You do not have to be a good gardener to fall in love with Green Thoughts. It reads with the intrepid assurance of a classic.” —Mary McCarthy, The New York Review of Books
“Unlike any other gardening book I know, with its Old World charm, its down-to-earth practicality, its whimsy and sophistication.” —Brooke Astor, The New York Times Book Review
“One of those dangerous reference works that you reach for at a moment of horticultural crisis or indecision only to find yourself an hour later browsing far beyond the page where you began.” —The New Yorker