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Beverley Nichols - an extraordinary man.


I picked up an old book in a charity shop a few days ago. Entitled “Merry Hall” what drew me to it was the rather lovely picture on the dust jacket, showing an old house, lit warmly from within.

I had heard of the author before, but knew nothing about him – in fact, I always assumed that Beverley was a woman – not so! And I also assumed that this would be a child’s fairy tale, as my sister had read several of his books when she was a child – “The Wickedest Witch in the World” being one. So I purchased said book, thinking to give to my sis for Xmas.

Then I started to read it – well, how amazing – its a gardening book – but of the most hilarious and amusing sort. Full of eccentric characters (His “Man” Gaskin, his ancient gardener “Oldfield” , annoying and nosey neighbours plus his cats “One” and “Four”).

At risk of being boring, and if you have never heard of BN, please look him up on Wikipedia.

I have now ordered one of his classics “Down The Garden Path” – and I can only urge you to read one of his many books for yourself – soo funny and would, IMHO, make a really great gift for a gardening friend.

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What a lovely blog. Very interesting how one can accidentally fall upon a nice book.

4 Oct, 2008


Thanks for this information. Will endeavour to track it down.He sounds like a wonderful character and I'm sure it will make an interesting read.

4 Oct, 2008


I once read a book about John Tradescant the younger by accident.
This was a novel, about him leaving for Virginia in the new world and falling in love with a beautiful indian girl, nearly dying and all this while he was plant hunting for Charles I. Yet I remember studying both Tradescants at college, as well as visiting the Ashmolean museum in Oxford (Lots of artifacts from this guy) and the museum of garden history in Lambeth where both Tradescant father and son used to live. To come across such a book was a really good find. I shall have to look out for youre fantastic find Claire.

Tradescant (younger and older) are responsible for us growing Lupins,rudbeckia, virgina creeper, walnut and plenty more.

4 Oct, 2008


I think I read that book about the Tradescants too. I seem to recall that they grew a huge Horse Chestnut in a pot for many years ? Amazing men.

Think I will start a new blog to ask people which gardening books they love.

4 Oct, 2008


Not forgetting tradescantia of course!

4 Oct, 2008


Thanks for telling us about these books. It might be good to read them during the long winter evenings. I'll look for them I think.

4 Oct, 2008

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