PASTURES NEW by Clifton Lisle


Email this review


The author of The Growing Year (see P. 649- back in 1953) has ""retired"" to a smallish Chester Valley farm from the hillside home of the earlier book. And once again we share with him not one but two ""growing years"". These years encompass the process of converting an abused, rundown farm into almost a subsistence farm, with neglected fields in process of being brought back to grass and profitable grain crop, with a vegetable garden and a flower garden inevitably overextended, temptations being what they are to every gardener, with an old house made comfortable -- all within the bounds of a limited budget. This is no Mr. Blanding, for here we have a knowledgeable gardener, sharing his occasional failures as well as his successes, but always with a sound objective and a reasonable know-how. This provides a dream come true for the experienced small place gardener who would his horizon. For the neophyte it is a bit too technical; Mr. Lisle assumes shared backgrounds. And while the book has some of the contagious passion for the seasonal round, it hasn't quite the freshness and charm of the earlier book. Perhaps because it is something of a post-graduate course and holds a bit too closely to repetitive pattern of soil conditioning, preparation, planting, cultivating, mulching, etc. Then too certain mannerisms of style, which didn't strike me in the earlier book, are too evident here -- an inversion, an explosive abbreviation, which becomes studied and monotonous. Nonetheless, the book will provide stimulus to many to take this next step to ""pastures new"".

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy