Laurence McKinney had studied seed catalogues and garden books, trudged through flower shows and exhibition gardens, and talk to gardeners, men, women and children.  With a variety, both uncommon and garden, he wrote about planting, transplanting, seeding, re-seeding, dusting, spraying, tilling, and tickling the soil.  He had even worked in a perennial border himself.  But he had always found a vicarious form of gardening easier on the knee-caps, even though it may not be so beneficial to the waistline. Miss Hokinson's inimitable sketches, taken from "The New Yorker" magazine form a delightful and witty accompaniment as you move from antirrhinum to yarrow, mulching and spraying as you go. Click here for reviews.

An excerpt from Garden Clubs & Spades


"Browning wrote two poems called "Garden Fancies," but in them he never reached the height of the pedantically absurd that Laurence McKinney has in these pages attained.  In fact Laurence McKinney could give him Clubs & Spades and still win.  Browning also lacked the vital cooperation of Helen Hokinson.  I myself, who know only two flowers by sight, have seldom learned so much and with so much delight as in this Botany Bay...." - William Lyon Phelps

About the Author

Laurence McKinney was born in Albany, NY and educated at the Albany Academy and Harvard, where, he says, he collaborated in making the Harvard Lampoon "a national menace."  Leaving Cambridge, McKinney turned his back on verse -- for a time --and entered a local steel business, of which he was an executive.  Possibly to forget the rattle of riveting hammers, he began to write again, and his light, humorous verse appeared in every sort of national magazine from Child Life to the Atlantic Monthly, from the Rotarian to Town and Country, from the Saturday Evening Post to Fortune.  He was also the author of People of Note and Lines of Least Resistance.

About the Artist

Helen Elna Hokinson was born in Mendota, Illinois.  She received her first recognition as an artist when her surreptitious sketches of the teachers at the Mendota High School received -- because of an unfortunate mislaying of her sketch-book --sincere appreciation from the teachers themselves.  Determined to study fashion drawing, she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago for five years.  From Chicago she went to the Parsons School of Design in new York where she studied Dynamic Symmetry under Howard Giles.  The results, she confessed, were so unexpectedly funny that she started doing a comic series for the New York Daily Mirror.  When The New Yorker was first launched she started contributing to its columns and has done so ever since.  The illustrations in this book were reproduced by the courtesy of The New Yorker.

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