Page 67 - PB Cat 1999-2021
P. 67

The author of Persephone’s first gardening book is in the ODNB because she was a Scottish poet, but she also wrote this excellent 1938 book which is perfect for the keen gardener or, in fact, for the aspiring, to buy for oneself or to give as a present. We hope it will become as integral a part of the Persephone collection as, say, How to Run Your Home without Help – amusing, interesting, with historical resonance, but useful.
It is indeed a ‘nightcap’: a soothing tonic to take in small doses just before bed. The subjects covered are many and
Endpapers taken from ‘Fritillary’, a 1936 block- printed linen designed by
Margaret Calkin James. (This fabric is available by the metre from the Persephone Bookshop.)
Gardener’s Nightcap
variegated.They include: Meadow Saffron, Dark Ladies (‘fritillary to me spells enchantment’, which is why we have chosen it for the endpaper), Better Goose-berries, Good King Henry (‘quite a good substitute for asparagus’),The Wild Comes Back and Phlox Failure. Each of these pieces is only a few lines in length yet tells the gardener far more than many lengthy essays or manuals. Gardener’s Nightcap, a bestseller in its year of first publication, is illustrated by charming Rex Whistler-type drawings.
 NO 66
 224pp PERSEPHONE BOOKS ISBN 9781903155561

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