As part of its Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture series, the University of Pennsylvania Press has recently published Paula Deitz’s Of Gardens. This substantial omnibus of selected essays clearly demonstrates that, when it comes to Dietz, the editor of The Hudson Review, the word “writer” is as important as the word “garden.” Her literary stance belongs in the category of “Letter from. . . ”—they are epistolary accounts of trips written to friends who will recognize and enjoy the erudite references she makes in passing. Her New York Times pieces are necessarily the briefest and most topical, as for example the 1985 discovery of what was probably the earliest garden in America at Bacons Castle, twelve miles south of Williamsburg, Virginia. Longer, less news-driven articles written for magazines and journals allow her propensity for imaginative associations to range more freely.


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