Agnes Katherine Landale lived in the county of Surrey, England, during the early twentieth century. Unlike most of us, she had a large estate with a team of eight gardeners to tend the garden. This garden inspired Agnes, aka Aggie, to create The Edwardian Lady’s Flower Album after the death of her husband.
This book is a facsimile edition of the hand-painted manuscript created by Agnes in 1913. This facsimile edition was published by her great-granddaughter, who also wrote a preface, detailing the history of the family.
The book is arranged as a ‘flower calendar’ – with Agnes’s watercolor drawings of garden flowers as they are blooming each day throughout the year. Each page covers at least three dates accompanied by watercolor illustrations of plants, including flowers, berries, shrubs, and bulbs. The drawings are beautiful and lifelike. Agnes was a very talented artist.
It’s a beautiful depiction of English garden flowers that were available at that time. So it’s valuable as an historical garden record of the Edwardian period.
It’s also inspirational in that it could be used as a guide to creating an English garden today.
If you’re looking for a book on how to grow plants, this is not the book for you.
It is for you if you’re looking for inspiration on creating your English garden, or something gorgeous to look at during bad weather. This is a lovely book for your coffee table, or to give as a gift.
A bonus of the book is that the illustrations are accompanied by poems (written in Agnes’s handwriting) from famous poets such as Shakespeare, Browning, Scott, Tennyson, and Rossetti. The poems really add to the enjoyment of the book.
For example, January 4 features this poem by Shelley:
And the jessamine faint, as the sweet tuberose
The sweetest flower for scent
And all rare blossoms of
Grew in that garden
in perfect prime
*Note: I got this book from the library and was not compensated in any way for this book review.
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