Tasha Tudor's Garden by Tovah Martin

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Tasha Tudor’s Garden

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

TASHA TUDOR’S GARDEN explores the until-now private obsession of famed children’s author and illustrator Tasha Tudor—her Vermont garden. Author Tovah Martin and photographer Richard W. Brown detail the delights of Tudor’s garden as it changes over the course of a year.

Brown’s exquisite photographs capture Tudor’s garden in all of its varied glory, from crocuses and primroses in April to sweet peas and hollyhocks in August. His photos of people are not as successful—anonymous children look bored and Tudor herself perpetually sports a self-conscious half-smile.

Author Tovah Martin, who often writes interesting gardening articles, unfortunately has adopted a precious, cloying tone in this book. The best that can be said of her writing in TASHA TUDOR’S GARDEN is that it is affectionate—the worst, that it is saccharine. Her patronizing attitude toward Tudor—“Tasha is the world’s most industrious soul,” “You wouldn’t expect Tasha Tudor to permit just any old azaleas onto her property”—makes Tudor seem more like an adorable child than an independent, creative woman.

Readers who are looking for an inside perspective on what Tudor is really like will be disappointed by this book. What they will find are a few gardening tips (“manure tea” is particularly emphasized) and plenty of lush descriptions of Tudor’s garden. Brown’s eloquent garden photographs make up for the text’s bubbly banter.