On the evidence of this charming but down-to-earth tract, gardeners may show the way toward the kinder, gentler society envisioned by President Bush. At any rate, in recounting how she has made an eight-acre homestead in exurban Connecticut bloom in various ways over a period of nearly 30 years, Eddison conveys a nicely understated sense of community. With minimal assistance from her well-loved husband (a resolute indoorsman, though a native of Yorkshire) and a lot of help from friends, the author has created what she views as a patchwork garden, i.e., one whose individual elements--each with a story of its own--contribute to the overall pattern. Using her periodic efforts to establish perennial borders as a sort of framework, the self-taught Eddison offers a series of captivating essays that tell of fellow tillers of the soil and their benefactions, or that serve as points of departure for appreciations of such specialized pursuits as day lilies, rock gardening, and woodlands propagation. While explicit how-to guidance is conspicuous by its absence, those in search of green-thumb tips can pick up a wealth of worthwhile counsel on bulbs, drainage, floral relationships, landscape contouring, mulching, seasonal planting, and allied topics. Covered as well in frequently rueful fashion are the author's struggles to coexist with southern New England's herbivorous fauna (notably white-tailed deer) and masses of indigenous stone. A lovely garland of reminiscences whose cultivated earthly delights could earn it a wide readership.