The Gardener's Year
"This very entertaining volume with its delightfully humorous pictures should be read by all gardeners." — Nature
"Mr. Čapek writes with sympathy, understanding, and humor." — The New York Times
"Has a mellowness and a charm that give it a high place in the humorous literature of gardening … will…
Why read it?
2 authors picked The Gardener's Year as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This is a very slim volume by the Czech novelist, playwright, and essayist who gave us the word “robot” in a play in 1921. In this book, Capek takes readers through a year, month by month, in his backyard garden in Prague. The writing is full of humor, the tone conversational, with observations that resonate with all gardeners–from the fickleness of the weather to the pleasures of reading plant catalogues in the winter. But the true subject of Capek’s musing is the complexity of human nature. For the writer, the garden is a metaphor for what makes us human. It…
The Czech playwright and polymath (who invented the word “robot”) proves that the lot of the gardener has not improved since this gem was published in 1929. Čapek sets the tone for this charming, often comic view of gardening from the opening sentence: “There are several different ways in which to lay out a garden; the best way is to get a gardener.” He wonders whether “three-year-old cow dung” means dung aged for three years, or from a three-year-old cow; finds reason to question the memories of old-timers; and is convinced that if a gardener entered the Garden of Eden,…
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