An Island Garden

The illustrated classic of an inspired woman and her flower garden on Appledore Island.

Celia Thaxter’s small garden with hollyhocks and poppies and scarlet flax was much admired by friends, neighbors, and visitors to the island off the coast of Portland, Maine. There, she wrote this collection of remembrances and gardening advice that was originally published in 1894, shortly before her death. It has never been out of print since.

In vivid prose, Thaxter captures the stretching stems and blossoming flowers in moods ranging from bitter defeat―delivered by unrelenting slugs―to the exultant triumph of birdsong and bursting blooms. Any gardener will understand and take heart from Thaxter’s philosophical outlook. “I am fully and intensely aware,” she writes, “that plants are conscious of love and respond to it as they do to nothing else.”

Many artists found inspiration in Celia Thaxter’s garden including the American impressionist, Childe Hassam, who provided this enduring book’s many full-page paintings and chapter head decorations. This book is perfect for anyone passionate about flowers and the many trials and triumphs of gardening.

Hardcover: 156 pages

Language: English

6.6 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches

Celia Thaxter was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and when she was four, her father became the lighthouse keeper on White Island. He subsequently built a legendary hotel on Appledore Island, on which she created her famous garden.

Childe Hassam was an American Impressionist best known for his urban and coastal scenes.

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