Readings featuring fictional gardens and gardeners.
Bouvard and Pecuchet
Novelist Julian Barnes is a keen grower of vegetables as well as a well-known Flaubert enthusiast - he combines the two by introducing and reading an extract from Flaubert's unfinished novel in which two retired Parisian clerks embark on their adventures in gardening with great enthusiasm, an awful lot of books, and very little skill.
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A spirited account of horticultural one-upmanship among ladies who lunch, read by gardening enthusiast and actress Penelope Keith
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By Lewis Carroll.
Jenny Uglow, author of A Little History of British Gardening, discusses the role of gardens in children's literature and Caroll's quirky reversal of the idea of talking to plants.
The extract from the chapter, The Garden of Live Flowers, is read by Patience Tomlinson.
Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
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Julian Barnes reads an extract from Gustave Flaubert's unfinished novel.
Novelist Julian Barnes is a keen grower of vegetables as well as a well-known Flaubert enthusiast.
He combines these two interests by introducing and reading an extract from Flaubert's unfinished novel in which two retired Parisian clerks embark on their adventures in gardening with great enthusiasm, an awful lot of books, and very little skill.
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By Elizabeth Von Arnim, abridged by Jill Waters.
Charles Quest-Ritson is a garden writer, expert on roses and author of Gardens of Germany.
He introduces an extract from the autobiographical novel in which the young Elizabeth von Arnim tells of her delight in escaping the oppressive rigours of polite society in Germany by devoting herself to the creation of a garden.
Read by Claire Skinner
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By Oscar Wilde.
John Cushnie takes a break from answering gardeners' questions to reflect on how frost affects the life of a garden and to introduce Oscar Wilde's touching story The Selfish Giant, in which frost descends permanently on the giant's garden when he refuses to let children play in it.
Read by Andrew Sachs