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Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11



Saturday, June 26, 2010

Paradise Under Glass: An Amateur Creates A Conservatory Garden by Ruth Kassinger

"All my hurts my garden spade can heal." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity." -Lindley Karstens

I love gardening. For me, it's a form of relaxation, a way to get back in touch with my thoughts. And I love when I find other gardener's who share my excitement for getting their hands dirty and finding a little peace.

Ruth Kassinger, author of "Paradise Under Glass: A Amateur Creates A Conservatory Garden," seems to be one such kindred spirit. Here's my review of her fantastic book!




When desperately seeking a way to relieve stress and emotional overload after the loss of her sister, her own battle with breast cancer, and the overwhelming sadness of an empty nest, author Ruth Kassinger found solace in the dense, reviving atmosphere of the U.S. Botanical Garden’s conservatory. The lush greenery, the oxygen-rich air and the peace she found was so relaxing and appealing, Kassinger wondered if she could recreate the same magic in her own home.

Kassinger’s journey to create her own conservatory is documented in her book, “Paradise Under Glass: An Amateur Creates A Conservatory.”

This book is no ordinary memoir of one woman’s efforts, although Kassinger does give a complete accounting of her struggles to find the right plants, the right amount of sun, and even the right builder to help her reach her dream. But she also includes an in-depth and surprisingly lively look at the history of some of the most famous conservatories in the world, as well as stories about the people who set out to find the rarest plants on earth to fill these houses of glass.

From the aromatic orangeries so popular during the Renaissance to the sedate ferneries of the Victorian era, Kassinger visits all the palaces of plants that were early forerunners to her humble, yet equally loved home conservatory.

What endeared Kassinger the most to me was her honest confession of not known a thing in the world about gardening when she began this project (she admitted her husband did most of the family gardening), and how she set out to learn as much as she could from as many experts as she could contact in order to make her dream come true. This is a lady who knew what she wanted, and in spite of the many experiments that went awry (her adventures with a mass of wayward butterflies had me wiping tears of laughter from my eyes), she created the peaceful tropical setting she longed for. She turned her brown thumb into a flourishing green one.

“Paradise Under Glass” will appeal to gardeners, those who want to be gardeners, and those who just admire efforts of gardeners alike.


Be sure to check out Ruth's website at www.ruthkassinger.com for more information about her books and gardening!


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my opinion.


The music playing is by Secret Garden, a duo comprised of Fionnuala Sherry of Ireland and Rolf Lovland of Norway. For more info on their beautiful music, check out their website at www.secretgarden.no

1 comment:

Book Bird Dog said...

Love the cover of the book, and I like gardening also tho I spend not much time there. The frequent rains here recently make it easier to garden in spite of the weeds~