The Private World of Tasha Tudor Tasha Tudor & Richard Brown, Little, Brown & Company
The late Tasha Tudor was a writer and illustrator of children’s’ books. Her farm in southern Vermont is a physical manifestation of all that was dear to her. This book explores her home, gardens, hobbies, writings and illustrations, all of which reflect the romantic nature of this multifaceted individual.
Of interest to this reviewer are the gardens that she created. Inspired by romantic English gardens, Ms. Tudor has given them a decidedly American flavor. She maintained the flower selection and color palette but discarded the formality. Hers are casual perennial gardens, meandering over her property and tamed only by surrounding meadows. These are not flower compositions to be viewed from an ideal perspective. Instead, they are gardens that surround and surprise as we wander about. Her property is filled with flowers to be enjoyed up close.
And yet, when each flower bed is viewed from a distance, we notice, in the background, a building, a stone wall or a tree that anchors the garden to its surroundings. What appears to be a spontaneous growth of flowers is, in fact, a well-planned composition. This method is well known to students of British gardens. The English pay a great deal of attention to the landscape architecture of their properties. Gardens that seem to appear out of nowhere are indeed, meticulously planned installations. Nothing is left to chance.
Ms. Tudor’s gardens are enhanced by the breathtaking images of Richard Brown, a renowned nature photographer. If this book were a theatrical production, Mr. Brown would merit a standing ovation.