A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s Gardeners Fought the Second World War

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9780091944155: A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s Gardeners Fought the Second World War

"War is the normal occupation of man—war and gardening."  —Winston Churchill

A Green and Pleasant Land tells the intriguing and inspiring story of how Britain's wartime government encouraged and cajoled its citizens to grow their own fruits and vegetables. As World War II began in earnest and a whole nation listened to wireless broadcasts, dug holes for Anderson shelters, counted their coupons, and made do and mended, so too were they instructed to "Dig for Victory." Ordinary people, as well as gardening experts, rose to the challenge: gardens, scrubland, allotments, and even public parks were soon helping to feed a nation deprived of fresh produce. As Ursula Buchan reveals, this practical contribution to the home front was tackled with thrifty ingenuity, grumbling humor, and extraordinary fortitude. The simple act of turning over soil and tending new plants became important psychologically for a population under constant threat of bombing and even invasion. Gardening reminded people that their country and its more innocent and insular pursuits were worth fighting for. Gardening in wartime Britain was a part of the fight for freedom.

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About the Author:

Ursula Buchan wrote a gardening column for a succession of national newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, the Sunday Telegraph, and the Spectator, for more than twenty-five years. She has published fifteen books and won two major writing awards from the Garden Media Guild. She was recently awarded the Garden Media Guild's Gardening Columnist of the Year 2011.

Review:

"Informative and highly entertaining" Daily Mail "Meticulously researched, gripping and often humorous " -- Leslie Geddes Brown Country Life "Elegantly written and rich with horticultural vignettes" Spectator "Buchan's book provides an intriguing glimpse of horticultural life in war conditions ... [An] excellent book, both touching and informative on a historical level." Lady "A compelling account ... It also unearths some unexpected facts - such as the liberal use of cyanide as a pesticide." House & Garden

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