I don’t know how I missed knowing about Andrea Wulf’s Founding Gardeners when it appeared in the spring of 2011 since I had enjoyed reading her excellent The Brother Gardeners so much (which I mentioned in a recent blog). But, all is well that ends well, which in this case is that a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to an audio version of the book and found it so engrossing that my mind did not wander one little bit.
I suppose that one benefit of being not running out and purchasing a book right away is that, if it is any good at all and worth your time, it will soon be available in paperback, e-book, and audio version, as is the case of Founding Gardeners. Check your local library or bookstore or, A link to Amazon’s The Founding Father’s page.
For an interview with the author and related articles, click on this link from the Smithonian Magazine. And, before you decide to read up on our Founding Fathers from the perspective of their being farmers and gardeners, you might want to read the Review from The New York Times.
And who were the founding gardeners? Andrea Wulf argues that Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison’s love of gardening shaped their vision of what America was to become.
What struck me most about the information gleaned from letters written and diaries kept by these four great men was that they wrote letters and kept diaries! We don’t seem to do that anymore. I visualized them with their quill pens and sturdy parchment paper writing by the lamp of a candle and I was moved by that, and I felt affection for them because what they wrote about was so real, and so real to them. Andrea Wulf quotes them keeping records of their gardens, writing to other gardeners about seeds, crops, and designs, agonizing over the price of re-landscaping, and daring to experiment with seeds and cuttings sent to them from nearby friends as well as far from off places.
Viewed from the perspective of “gardeners just like us” the four founding fathers featured in Ms Wulf’s book come alive as they, like us, discover plants on their hikes and journeys and mull over just what the plant could be or wander through gardens and nurseries day dreaming of what they might create in their own gardens.
So, if you are up for a bit o’reading, don’t hesitate to check out Andrea Wulf’s excellent Founding Fathers.