Paradise Under Glass: The Education of an Indoor Gardener

Paradise Under Glass: The Education of an Indoor Gardener by Ruth Kassinger
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Date Released
230 x 135mm
Out Of Print

Other Titles by Ruth Kassinger

A witty and absorbing memoir about one woman's unlikely desire to build, stock, and tend a small conservatory in her suburban Maryland home, interwoven with the history of conservatories from the Renaissance orangeries to the glass palaces of Kew. Like many baby boomers, Ruth Kassinger was at the crossroads of middle age. Coping with the unexpected death of a beloved sister, her children's departure for college, and her own recent battle with breast cancer, she was searching for a way forward, and had time on her hands to find it. One cold, gray evening, flooded with thoughts of aging, change, and loss, she wandered into the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory in Washington, D.C.-and a dream was born. Dazzled by the conservatory's vast, dense cascade of greenery, she began a quest to create a verdant sanctuary of her very own. Yet all Ruth knew of gardening was a lone, neglected houseplant at the top of her basement stairs. <I>Paradise Under Glass</I>, chronicles her journey from brown thumb to green-a project that takes her from suburban Washington to the Midwest and California, New England to Florida, and introduces a vast array of horticulturalists, growers, botanists, and gardening enthusiasts from across time and around the world. Ruth Kassinger takes us step by step through the birth of her conservatory, from leafing through scores of histories and botanical books to choosing the right architect; navigating the maze of red tape to discovering which plants match her temperament; raising butterflies to warding off pests. Her search to create her own private space is a lively narrative tour of past and present, including Renaissance orangeries, the glass palaces of Kew and the legendary Crystal Palace, modern high-tech marvels, and finally her own backyard where she brings her personal Garden of Eden-complete with delicate orange and black Monarch butterflies, a pool, and a "living wall"-to life. Throughout she shares the knowledge and insight creating and sustaining her garden has bestowed, lessons of loss and letting go, nurturing and rebirth, challenge and change, love and serenity. From the first gardeners to the birth of botany, raising butterflies to greenhouse architecture and design, ferns to citrus trees and a bounty of colorful vegetation in between, <I>Paradise Under Glass</I> is the remarkable story of the fruition of a dream that is sure to inspire the gardener in us all.
Publication Date:
01 / 09 / 2014
230 x 135mm

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