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I know from my own experience that an evening spent tending my garden, after another incomprehensible day, brings a strength and calmness that no other activity can match. Is it the qualities associated with gardening, such as nurturing and the hard work of hands and heart, that are deficient in our culture? Much good writing has been done about the garden as a special place.
Madeleine Wilde's woodland garden on the south slope of Seattle's Queen Anne Hill was more than a "special place." It was her Sanctuary, her prism through which she explored the world and accomplished "much good writing."
For two decades, starting in the early 1990s, Madeleine's "Notes from the Garden" delighted readers of the Queen Anne & Magnolia News in Seattle. Here, in luminous prose, is the best of her work from those years, ranging from hands-on advice for gardeners and would-be gardeners to poetically charged, often wry, insights into life in the tradition of Thoreau.
Madeleine, who died in 2018, has left us a book to savor from solstice to solstice. This is a book that gardeners and lovers of cooking, food and life well-lived will savor. It will also inspire fans of the personal essay and those interested in the cycle of the seasons and intentional living. The book is edited by her former publisher, Mike Dillon, illustrated with charming drawings by noted American architect and author Mark Hinshaw, and a foreword by Madeleine's husband David Streatfield, professor emeritus in the department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington.