Rhapsody in Green: A Novelist, an Obsession, a Laughably Small Excuse for a Garden
by Charlotte Mendelson
‘A witty account of ‘extreme allotmenteering’ for all obsessive gardeners’ – Mail on Sunday
‘An extremely entertaining and inspiring story of one woman’s passionate transformation of a small, irregular shaped urban garden into a bountiful source of food.’ – Woman & Home
‘A gardening book like no other, this is the author’s ‘love letter’ to her garden. She relays warm and witty stories about the trials and tribulations throughout her gardening year.’ – Garden News
‘…this inspirational, funny book, written by someone who hankers after a homesteader’s lifestyle, will make you look at even your window box in a new, more productive light.’ – The Simple Things
Gardening can be viewed as a largely pointless hobby, but the evangelical zeal and camaraderie it generates is unique. Charlotte Mendelson is perhaps unusually passionate about it. For despite her superficially normal existence, despite the fact that she has only six square metres of grotty urban soil and a few pots, she has a secret life. She is an extreme gardener, an obsessive, an addict. And like all addicts, she wants to spread the joy. Her garden may look like a nasty drunk old man’s mini-allotment, chaotic, virtually flowerless, with weird recycling and nowhere to sit. When honoured friends are shown it, they tend to laugh. However, it is actually a tiny jungle, a minuscule farm, a wildly uneconomical experiment in intensive edible cultivation, on which she grows a taste of perhaps a hundred kinds of delicious fruits and odd vegetables. It is a source of infinite happiness and deep peace. It looks completely bonkers. Arguably, it’s the most expensive, time-consuming, undecorative and self-indulgent way to grow a salad ever invented, but when tired or sad or cross it never fails to delight.