Cultivating Delight

Cultivating Delight

A Natural History of My Garden

Book - 2001
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In the mode of her esteemed bestseller A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman's new book, Cultivating Delight celebrates the sensory pleasures she discovers in her garden.

Ackerman delights in her garden through all the seasons. Whether she is deadheading flowers or glorying in the profusion of roses, offering sugar water to a hummingbird or studying the slug, she welcomes the unexpected drama and extravagance as well as the sanctuary her garden offers. She chronicles instances of violence in nature but also intuits loneliness and desire in the clamor of male crickets in the spring. And there is wonderment and marvel as she happens upon a tiny frog asleep inside the petals of a tulip. Visitors to her garden range from botanical explorers of earlier centuries to the nature mystic John Muir to the brilliant British garden writer Gertrude Jekyll.

The author's garden nourishes its creator, who imaginatively returns the favor and seizes privileged moments to leap from science and metaphor to meditation on the human condition. Written in sensuous, lyrical prose, Cultivating Delight is a hymn to nature and to the pleasure we take in it.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, [2001]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2001
ISBN: 9780060199869
Branch Call Number: 508 Ackerman
Characteristics: 261 pages ; 24 cm


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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 23, 2014

I am dazzled by this book-- my favorite this season. The author’s metaphors of the garden, a natural subject for great detail and poetic writing, are so lush and sensual that passages beg to be read and reread. This is a feast of the senses from season to season, insect to mammal, seed to flower, joy and disappointment. Ackerman’s knowledge of natural history is unsurpassed.


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