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Unearthing The Secret Garden

The Plants and Places That Inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett

Unearthing The Secret Garden
Marta McDowell By (author)
Product ID:  689990
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Timber Press

Limited ***

6.3 X 8.0 in
320 pg

GARDENING / Essays & Narratives
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Nature


Marta McDowell returns with a beautiful, gift-worthy account of how plants and gardening deepy inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of the beloved children's classic The Secret Garden.


“Blooming with photos, illustrations, and botanical paintings, McDowell’s gorgeous book opens an ivy-covered door to new information about one of the world’s most famous authors.”—Angelica Shirley Carpenter, editor of In the Garden: Essays in Honor of Frances Hodgson Burnett

“McDowell’s beautiful writing and research take us all on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of a blooming world that has only existed in our imaginations, until now.”—Keri Wilt, motivational speaker and writer and great-great-granddaughter of Frances Hodgson Burnett

“McDowell’s blending of this abiding fiction with its author’s real life is safe and sure. New readers—young and old—will be propelled into a faraway enchanted world now magically reawakened more than a hundred years on.”—David Wheeler, editor, Hortus

“With a sprightly tone, infectious enthusiasm, and a professor’s penchant for scholarly detail, McDowell brings keen insight and critical assessment to the life and works of this beloved author.” —Booklist

“Rich in details, lavish with illustrations, including many from the story’s various print versions, this book is a must-have for anyone whose first horticulture passions were triggered by hat gateway drug to gardening, otherwise known as The Secret Garden.” The Washington Gardener
Unearthing the Secret Garden brings Burnett to life as someone the reader would happily meet, in or out of her various gardens, to sit in the shade with a cheerful robin nearby while talking of roses and flowers and life.” Bellwood Gardens

Author Bio

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. Marta’s particular interest is in authors and their gardens, the connection between the pen and the trowel. She is the 2019 winner of the Garden Club of America's Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement. Her books include Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, All the Presidents’ Gardens, World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, and Unearthing the Secret Garden. Visit her at