And, like the song goes, “to reminisce with my old friends.” When I heard about VP from Veg Plotting’s meme asking for our top three to five dinner party choices, I simply had to join in.
For mine, I perused my bookshelves, and I believe I’ve assembled an interesting list.
First, I choose Russell Page. He wrote The Education Of A Gardener (New York Review Books Classics) the year I was born, 1962, but the writing is as fresh as yesterday. We could all discuss the great country gardens he designed and all of the famous people he met over his long life.
Second, how could any garden party, especially one situated in my rose garden, be complete without Graham Stuart Thomas? Although he is best known as a rosarian, Thomas was so much more. In my opinion, one of his best books is Colour in the winter garden, written and illustrated by Graham Stuart Thomas. I would be very nervous to have Thomas, but I would hope he would be kind to another aficionado. I would also use William C. Welch, who wrote Antique Roses for the South: New Edition to deflect him. They could debate rose performance and the variations of weather between Thomas’s maritime climate and our continental one. Perhaps, he wouldn’t notice how leggy his namesake grows in my garden.
To balance the party and make up the numbers as the British say, I would invite Loise Beebe Wilder (Color in My Garden: An American Gardener’s Palette and so many others), Elizabeth Lawrence, whose garden I visited last summer and Margery Fish (We Made a Garden (Modern Library Gardening) who gardened in England during very difficult times and with an even more difficult spouse.
I love books written by gardeners about their own gardens, and each of these women thrived on such writing. They’ve given me many a pleasurable evening, while I, propped up with pillows and a glass of chamomile tea, read and dreamed of gardens all over the country and throughout time. I figure these girls would have lots to discuss and would hold their own against the men.
We would start with a tour of the gardens, and I think we would also dine outside. We’re assuming this dinner party is during the peak of rose bloom (here in May) and that I’ve had plenty of time to spiffy everything up. We would eat produce out of the garden, and some purchased from the farmer’s market. There wouldn’t be tomatoes yet, but we’d have snow peas and sweet peas, along with the first green beans. I think some nice farm raised chicken with peaches would also be good. I’m imagining all of this would be available. Of course, HH who loves to entertain would be there with me, and he would manage to hold his own again all the opinions and accents flying through the air.
Now that I’ve imagined it, it all sounds so splendid, that I believe I’ll continue the party while I sleep. That way, I’ll have the sweetest of dreams.
Anyone else who wants to join in, please do and please visit VP. She’s using Mr. Linky to connect everyone playing this game. Please come and play along.