The English Garden A-Z Blog Challenge

The English Garden


One of my favorite quotes about English gardening:

“Anyone who was serious about plants would be admitted into the long conversation that is the English garden.”

–Simon Jenkins (speaking about Christopher Lloyd)

If you can buy only one book on English Gardening I recommend @The English Garden by @Ursula Buchan and photographs by @Andrew Lawson. Here you will find rich and beautifully photographed gardens, glorious in their beauty and variety. Look at knots, meadows, landscape parks, kitchen gardens and woodlands and you will just have begun your deeper acquaintance with The long conversation that is the English Garden.

I am my mother’s daughter,  an anglophile too. My mother’s travels were confined to her arm chair at home in Evanston, IL. while my travels have taken me to England. My own English garden, the Pinterest boards that are all about English gardening, and other interesting anglophile passions, would have intrigued her. I never finish an English mystery, addicted to them as I am, that I don’t wish I could pass it on to this wonderful woman who kept her own council and “knew a little bit about a lot of things” as she would say.

Now in the November of my life, I often wish we could live our lives backwards. It is only in these last ten years that I now know what I want to be when I grow up. A writer, of course, but it turns out I have this passion for gardens; wish I’d majored in garden design and become a famous plantswoman able to travel and lecture my way through life talking about gardens…especially English gardens. Not on such a grand scale, but I have given my first lecture on famous English women gardeners beginning with Vita Sackville-West and her gardens at Sissinghurst. Pleased to add that the lecture was met with enthusiasm.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge - April 2013 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The English Garden A-Z Blog Challenge

  1. commonweeder says:

    What a great blog. As a garden writer I have hundreds of garden books, including many on English gardening, but I don’t think I own Ursula Buchan’s book. I was also fortunate enough to help lead a garden tour in England with my neighbor and native Brit. We saw some amazing gardens, and the weather was perfect, although the English kept wiping their brows and complaining about the heat. 70 degrees!

  2. Joe Owens says:

    I find the English Garden a fascinating thing. Mine is nowhere near as regal or polished.

  3. Ciara Knight says:

    Ninja minion checking in. I hope you are enjoying the challenge! 🙂

  4. One of my favorite gardens is the topiary garden at the Columbus School for the Deaf, which is a re-creation of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte.

  5. Pingback: Learning in the Garden: Interview with Mary Riddle | Summer Kinard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s