Florilegium isn't far from the cafes of Glebe Point Road, where I had lunch (and afternoon tea afterwards). It's in a tiny corner shop which was once the Demeter Bakery, but now has warm white walls, polished concrete flooring, and a stairway to
Perhaps naively, I had thought that the obsessives restricted themselves to cultivation of roses, bromeliads and orchids. You expect to see books on those genera. But a whole book on the genus Sorbus? Yes, you'll find one. But then, surely every genus deserves some obsessive person to write about it...
I whiled away at least an hour exploring this cornucopia of gardening books! But in the end, I settled on four titles:
- Edna Walling's The Happiest Days of my Life ($18), a memoir of her time building a holiday shack near the Great Ocean Road.
- Helen Proudfoot's Gardens in Bloom: Jocelyn Brown and her Sydney Gardens of the '30s and '40s ($30). Brown and Walling were active in the same period and as I have a 1940s house, I am interested in how to bring something of that time into my own garden.
- Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury, Designing With Plants ($35). I was introduced to Piet Oudolf by the blogosphere and find his work fascinating. Again, it will be interesting to see how I can translate his ideas to Sydney, where the seasons are far less distinct than in the Netherlands, and where the native plant material is vastly different. I asked Gil, the proprietor, whether anyone was working in a similar style here and he was able to point out one or two designers to me in Contemporary Australian Garden Design by John Patrick & Jenny Wade... but I didn't buy that book!
- After the glowing review at May Dreams Gardens, I couldn't pass up Rick Darke's expanded edition of William Robinson's classic The Wild Garden ($39.95). Looks like I have a bit of reading to do.