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An Island Garden

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In her introduction to this new edition, the gardener, writer, illustrator, and craftsperson Tasha Tudor explores the space Celia Thaxter made for herself on one of the Isles of Shoals and the place her gentle, commonsense journal has held in the hearts of gardeners and artists for over a hundred years.
A popular poet in her day, Thaxter is best remembered for AN ISLAND GA
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1894)
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A lovely book with beautiful descriptions of her garden. Celia Thaxter was a joyful gardener!
Magic. Mine's a reproduction of Houghon-Mifflin's 1894 1st edition, complete with Childe Hassam's priceless Impressionst watercolors. Even Thaxter's technical talk is tatted into the finest literary lace. Love.
Jan 30, 2008 Sara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gardeners, birders, beach people, Edwardian-ites, slug-haters, artists
This is a book that I would love to own! It reminds me of The Passionate Observer by Jean Henri Fabre, except that here Ms. Thaxter is rambling on about her love affair with her garden instead of bugs. The version I read didn't have the intro by Tasha Tudor and I think the fellow who did introduce it biased me a little against the author. She liked to hear the sound of her own words and it gets annoying occasionally. Nevertheless, by the end of the book, it's as if you've been dashed into your ...more
Aug 22, 2008 Denise rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Only advance gardeners
Recommended to Denise by: Amazon
First I must say that I am an avid gardener and my relationship with the natural world is probably more intimate then much of the human population, but Celia Thaxter's romantic interaction with her garden became too much for me quite quickly. I both adored and became tired of her musings about her own dear garden. I wondered about her human interaction and envisioned people rolling their eyes if she conversed anything like she wrote of her beloved garden. She was truly in love with her words.

Jul 20, 2007 dthaase rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any lover of gardens & flowers
Shelves: non-fiction
Celia Thaxter takes you through a descriptive and stunning tour of her flower garden (c. 1893) located on Appledore, one of the Isles of Sholes off the Shores of Portsmouth, NH. Simply put this book is charming. This is a must read for any gardner who has experienced the toil and delight of the garden or for anyone who has ever appreciated a flower. Thaxter's descriptions and stories are wonderful. One of the most delighful reads I have had in a while. It deserves to be read outside on a summer ...more
One of my favorite books for several reasons. I first discovered it while researching Childe Hassam, one of my favorite American Impressionists. Reading this book opened up the world of the art colony of the late 19th century which included painters, writers, poets, musicians who would spend summer vacations at a hotel on the island of Appledore, part of the islands between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. Being an amateur artist and writer/poet and avid gardener, I related to Celia ...more
Marianne Mersereau
Aug 06, 2014 Marianne Mersereau rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves flowers.
Highly recommend for anyone who loves flowers! I rarely re-read books, but this one is an exception; I have re-read it several times and love, love, love it!
Can't say I've ever read or heard anyone who loved her garden more than Ms. Thaxter! Written in 1894 the prose is a bit outdated but it is still very readable and charming. She really hated slugs too. Her garden was located on an island off the coast of New England. Sounds like a challenging place to garden but apparently she did very well.
The last and best book Celia Thaxter wrote. The paintings commissioned for An Island Garden are considered by many to be the most beautiful of Childe Hassam's career. Deals with her garden on Appledore.
Delightful. Inspiring. Beautiful language, befitting a poet. I will want to read it again, and would like to own it.
Illustrations by Childe Hassam. Thaxter lived from 1835 to 1894. Her Maine garden was restored in 1977.
Not what I expected or hoped for but loved the illustrations.
It was a nice book, but it started getting repetitious early on.
Gorgeous illustrations but forgettable prose.
My absolute all time favorite book!
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Celia Laighton Thaxter was an American writer of poetry and stories. Thaxter grew up in the Isles of Shoals, first on White Island, where her father, Thomas Laighton, was a lighthouse keeper, and then on Smuttynose and Appledore Islands.

Her poems first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and she became one of America's favorite authors in the late 19th century. Among her best-known poems are The Burg
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“Who shall compass or fathom God's thought profound?
We can but praise, for we may not understand;
But there's no more beautiful riddle the whole world round
Than is hid in this heap of dust I hold in my hand.”
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