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Garden Open Today

By Beverley Nichols

Illustrations by William McLaren

Foreword by Roy C. Dicks

No one has ever traveled down the garden path with quite the same flair as Beverley Nichols.

Pacific Horticulture

When Beverley Nichols first published Garden Open Today in 1963, he was already well known for his "garden adventure" books such as Down the Garden Path and Merry Hall, whose unforgettable characters still live in the imaginations of present-day gardeners. In Garden Open Today, however, Nichols attempted a departure from his previous gardening books; he sought to distill 30 years of practical gardening experience in an entertaining fashion, and perhaps to strike back at critics who whispered that he was not a "real gardener." Our new facsimile edition includes a foreword and plant-name index by Roy C. Dicks.

Media reviews

"Beverly Nichols makes an unequivocal case for water in the garden."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"No one has ever traveled down the garden path with quite the same flair as Beverley Nichols. The latest Timber Press reprints are here, ready to bolster the case."

—Bob Cowden, Pacific Horticulture

"No one has ever traveled down the garden path with quite the same flair as Beverley Nichols."

—Bob Cowden, Pacific Horticulture

"Although the garden and house repair are real, it's semi-fictionalized and peopled with his eccentric neighbors in an English village. Agatha Christie fans will recognize the types."

—Dulcy Mahar, Oregonian

"A very funny book — [Nichols'] accounts of ponds made with plastic pond liners made me laugh out loud. But for an amateur, Nichols is also a serious plantsman and garden designer. And in this book he makes English prose that is as balanced, graceful and relaxed as anyone's I have read. A garden as informal and assured as his prose would be a wonder indeed."

—Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times Book Review

"It is Nichol's rare combinations of irascible humor and keen awareness of the beauty of plants that make these books indispensible for the gardener's shelf."

—Elizabeth Licata, Buffalo Spree

"A delight to anyone who's ever dreamed of planting a formal garden but needed some inspiration."

—Barbara Dewitt, Los Angeles Daily News

"This charming book includes many nuggets of advice imparted in a most amusing style. Very enjoyable and unputdownable."


"This volume contains much practical knowledge, but also, thankfully, a liberal ration of wit."

Journal (Newcastle)

"First published in 1963, this timeless classic takes you on a stroll through the author's garden. And while you're there, he gives you a wealth of information in a very casual, conversational style."

Gardener's Club of Mendota

"[Nichols'] humor and sheer appreciation of gardening comes across on each page."

—Sharon Wootton, Everett Herald

"In this entertaining volume, [Nichols] weaves literature, music, art and travel into his anecdotes, peppering them with memorable characters and droll humor."

—Moira Sheridan, People Places Plants

"Filled with unforgettable characters as well as nuggets of practical gardening advice."

—Maggie Oster, National Gardener

"[Read] Garden Open Today ... to see why volumes by Nichols ... attract a cult following."

—Marty Hair, Detroit Free Press

"Makes delightful reading."

—Joanne S. Carpender, National Gardener

"His humor shines through in Garden Open Today and it makes delightful reading."

—Joanne S. Carpender, National Gardener

"Nichols is a charming writer and dispenses practical advice with that delightful wry humor the English are famous for."

—Lori D. Kranz, Bloomsbury Review

"Now that I've been introduced, I can hardly wait to read the rest."

—Lori D. Kranz, Bloomsbury Review


—Carol Stocker, Boston Globe

"A very entertaining glimpse into the English gardening scene as well as some jolly good gardening tips!"

—F. Anderson, Botanical Artist

"Thirty years of practical gardening experience [presented] in an entertaining fashion."

Wisley Bookshop

"[A] modern English gardening classic ... Delightful."

—Pam Beck, Raleigh News and Observer

"[Nichols] writes with much wit and also gives good gardening advice. His style of writing is "his" as he describes the plants and their importance to him; you can feel his passion."

—Marty Figley, Michigan Observer and Eccentric

"Never mind that it's all about gardening in England, mentioning resources that, like the author, are no longer on this plane of existence, it is still a great 'read,' full of good humor, entertainment, and style."

—Marge Howard-Jones, California Garden

"Now that I'm hooked on Beverley Nichols, I've been eagerly devouring [this] newest Nichols reprint ... first published in 1963."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

About the author

Beverley Nichols

Beverley Nichols (1898–1983) was a prolific writer on subjects ranging from religion to politics and travel, in addition to authoring six novels, five detective mysteries, four children's stories, six autobiographies, and six plays. He is perhaps best remembered today for his gardening books.

Read more about Beverley Nichols

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