University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial Publications : Book of the Month

Graham Stuart Thomas' Three Gardens
Graham Stuart Thomas.  2001 (1983).  Sagapress.  221pp, hardcover
This reissue of the original book of 1983, first U.S. edition in 1986, gives an insight into this well known horticulturist of our time, through descriptions of the three gardens he has personally owned and developed.  Reading this, and it is quite readable in a narrative style, you will gain an appreciation of many new and worthy garden plants, the history of gardening especially in Britain of the last half century, and the inspiration behind this master plantsman and practitioner of the art and craft of horticulture.

The author really is unique among authors, being one of the more recognized and awarded horticulturists of recent decades.  Besides a fascinating writer, with a lifetime knowledge of garden plants, he has known and worked with many of the famous gardeners of the last 50 years who also are given insight in this book, and indexed for a quick bio and to find them in the book.  The over 750 plants he mentions and describes are listed alphabetically at the end, together with type of plant, dimensions, notes and page to find them on described further.  There are also black and white, and color photos, and some of his detailed watercolors and black and white illustrations as he is an accomplished artist as well.

The author recounts personal trials, joys and obsessions to which many gardeners can relate through his Cambridge Garden, Oak Cottage and Briar Cottage, together with a brief nursery interlude.  Each garden begins with a diagram, and includes some photos.  If you know of this author, you may know him from one of his dozen or so other books on various specialties as roses, perennials, rock plants, shrubs, trees, vines, bulbs, annuals or ferns-- a true master of all garden plants.

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