As Spring comes to Chestnut Cottage, I always get in the mood to pull out all of my delightful Beverley Nichols books! I mention these wonderful, intriguing books in The Collected Tabletop and never fail to mention them during my book events. So if I haven’t yet appealed to your reading curiosity, I shall do so today! Years ago while in London, I came across my first encounter with Beverley Nichols. And it has been true love since that day! Beverly Nichols was a prolific English writer on subjects ranging from religion to politics, travel, children’s stories and a great many other subjects. But he is perhaps best remembered today for his gardening books. The first of the, Down The Garden Path, centered on his home and garden at Glatton.
I would recommend that you start with this delightful little book. A Thatched Roof is the second book in Beverley Nichol’s Allways trilogy, followed by A Village In The Valley. His wicked sense of humor and emotion and obsessions with gardening limit one’s ability to put these books down!
At this time you will likely be “hooked”, so you might continue on with his three book series that starts with Merry Hall and its sequels Laughter on the Stairs and then Sunlight on the Lawn.
This series documents Nichol’s travails in renovating a Georgian mansion and its gardens. His descriptions of both his houses and his gardens bring a real “sense of soul” to both of his passions.
His final garden was found at Sudbrook Cottage, which serves as the setting for his books Garden Open Today and Garden Open Tomorrow.
I always welcome Spring to Chestnut Cottage by re-reading Down the Garden Path, which always puts me in a very enthusiastic gardening mood! And the lovely sketches in these books are certainly “eye candy”.