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Pursuits | By ​David Wheeler

The Literary Touch

A recent few days of rest and relaxation imposed after a minor back injury caused by hauling hefty brimful watering cans out of the stream gave me an unexpected opportunity to revisit my garden bookshelves and delve once more into the minds of the horticultural literati. On occasions like these (thankfully rare in my case) anthologies rise supreme, pulling one across acres of wordy greensward in an editor’s rush to share chosen paragraphs by favourite writers. Some twenty years ago, I experienced that rush myself when asked to compile The Penguin Book of Garden Writing. Enjoyable, yes, though a poorly paid undertaking (but my agent said the royalties would keep me in support stockings for the rest of my life) which, beyond that chance to exercise my own pleasures and prejudices, pushed me triumphantly into unknown territory, leaving me somewhat startled here and there to discover how many authors I...

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