Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life

The Plants and Places That Inspired the Iconic Poet

Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life

By:  McDowell, Marta

$36.95 Hardback (Revised)
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Timber Press

Limited ***

6.5 X 9.0 in
268 pg

GARDENING / Essays & Narratives

From New York Times bestselling author Marta McDowell, an illustrated exploration of how gardening and plants inspired Emily Dickinson, one of the most beloved poets of all time.

“In these pages, you are beside Emily Dickinson’s elbow—feeling the dense heat of summer, noting the gay attire of the scarlet runner beans, learning the skills of an ultra-observant plantswoman, finding the poetry in nature.” —Tovah Martin, horticulturist, lecturer, and author of The Garden in Every Sense and Season

Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life evokes the vibrant, vanishing world of the poet’s nineteenth century and reminds us of our still more charged responsibilities as twenty-first-century gardeners.” —Marta Werner, professor of English, Loyola University, Chicago

“This engaging book imagines our great poet’s days among her plants and flowers.”—Judith Farr, author of The Gardens of Emily Dickinson

“A visual treat as well as a literary one… ‘Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life’ will be deeply satisfying for gardeners and garden lovers, connoisseurs of botanical illustration, and those who seek a deeper understanding of the life and work of Emily Dickinson.” —The Wall Street Journal

Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life offers an enchanting perspective on one of America’s most celebrated literary figures.” —Bookriot

“Deftly weaving together poems, plants, and historical detail, the book takes us down the same pathways that Emily Dickinson trod.” —Bellewood Gardens' Garden Diary

“In Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, we get not just Dickinson’s history, but a slice of horticultural history, plus a charming palette of plants for a poet’s garden.” —A Way to Garden

“Marta McDowell brings Emily Dickinson to life as a gardener, one who was as enchanted and passionate about the plants and flowers of the Homestead's gardens, the wildflowers of the field, and those she grew in a little conservatory… It's a gardener's life, one who happened to be a poet.” —Growing Interest


Marta McDowell lives, gardens, and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She consults for public gardens and private clients, writes and lectures on gardening topics, and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. Her particular interest is in authors and their gardens, the connection between the pen and the trowel.