A Rage for Rock Gardening:
The story of Reginald Farrer.
David R. Godine, 128 pages, $20
Reviewers of books do not normally begin by praising the publisher, but in this case David R. Godine’s commitment to bringing out a line of garden books no longer in print and new volumes about the near-forgotten greats of garden writing should be applauded. Serious garden literature occupies that small corner of the bookshelf not taken up by practical books on gardening, which have in recent years enjoyed a market boom analogous to that of cookbooks. Godine’s list is aimed at the reader who is interested in the lives and works of gardeners and garden writers of the past, particularly those of an original bent and lively prose style. Books by and about them are engaging to read, whether or not one is oneself a gardener.
This publisher’s latest offering, Nicola...