Friday, 17 August 2012

Talking to Zeus: My year in a Greek Garden by Jane Shaw

Jane Shaw was working as a volunteer in Chelsea's famous Physic Garden when she earned a placement to work for a year on a very special organic garden in Greece. But this was to be no easy-going break in the Mediterranean. The five-acre plot, which Jane swiftly named 'Alcatraz', was devoid of creature comforts, perched on a steep, remote hillside that was blindingly hot in summer and freezing in winter, and overseen by a 74-year-old, passionate, mercurial eccentric English lady called Joy.

On arrival, Jane is immediately drawn into the intrigue of village life, such as the ongoing feud with the nouveau riche ex-pat neighbour with a sports car, whom Joy suspects has dug an illegal bore hole to water his terraced lawns. But most of all she is beguiled by the vibrant energy of the landscape, the folklore, the food and the numerous engaging characters who flock to Joy as the wise matriarch of the locale. The story arcs through a year of seasons in the garden as Jane learns to love its wild beauty and to relish the hard work and care it needs. This is a charming, wildly entertaining and joyful portrait of a very special place, and will appeal to anyone who loves gardening, or who has enjoyed books such as Driving Over Lemons...From the Publishers

A customer told me that this book was delightful to read. Full of interesting experiences and snippets of poetry. Her enthusiasm was catchy, so biography readers this sounds like one to try.   ...Posted by Moxie

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