“In these pages, you are beside Emily Dickinson’s elbow—feeling the dense heat of summer, learning the skills of an ultra-observant plantswoman, finding the poetry in nature.” —Tovah Martin, author of The Gardenin Every Sense and Season
Emily Dickinson was a keen observer of the natural world, but less well known is the fact that she was also an avid gardener—sending fresh bouquets to friends, including pressed flowers in her letters, and studying botany at Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke. At her family home, she tended both a small glass conservatory and a flower garden.
In Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, award-winning author Marta McDowell explores Dickinson’s deep passion for plants and how it inspired and informed her writing. Tracing a year in the garden, the book reveals details few know about Dickinson and adds to our collective understanding of who she was as a person. By weaving together Dickinson’s poems, excerpts from letters, contemporary and historical photography, and botanical art, McDowell offers an enchanting new perspective on one of America’s most celebrated but enigmatic literary figures.
About the Author
Marta McDowell lives, gardens, and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She consults for public gardens and private clients, writes and lectures on gardening topics, and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. Her particular interest is in authors and their gardens, the connection between the pen and the trowel.
“In these pages, you are beside Emily Dickinson’s elbow—feeling the dense heat of summer, noting the gay attire of the scarlet runner beans, learning the skills of an ultra-observant plantswoman, finding the poetry in nature.” —Tovah Martin, horticulturist, lecturer, and author of The Garden in Every Sense and Season
“Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life evokes the vibrant, vanishing world of the poet’s nineteenth century and reminds us of our still more charged responsibilities as twenty-first-century gardeners.” —Marta Werner, professor of English, Loyola University, Chicago
“This engaging book imagines our great poet’s days among her plants and flowers.”—Judith Farr, author of The Gardens of Emily Dickinson