paper, 289 p., $15.00
The award-winning journalist and golf reporter James Dodson became obsessed with gardening when he moved to Maine 25 years ago. Striving to turn a dozen acres of meadow and woodland into a paradise, he sought out plantsmen, plant explorers, noted gardeners and other gardening experts to gain knowledge quickly so that he could fulfill his vision. In his book Beautiful Madness, Dodson's lively literary style predominates as he describes setting aside a year to travel among notable gardens along the East Coast and in Britain. Among the highlights of his travels were tours of the Chelsea Flower Show and the Philadelphia Flower Show, as well as a photographic botanizing trip to the remote Eastern Cape highlands of South Africa. His reflections on his journey and the people he encountered make fascinating reading for all avid gardeners.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden