Winner of the Merit Award (LCASLA)
Recovered in the mid-1990s from the attic of a Turnbull family descendant, Martha Turnbull’s garden diary offers the most extensive surviving first-hand account of nineteenth-century plantation life and gardening in the Deep South.
Suzanne Turner is professor emerita of landscape architecture at Louisiana State University; owner and principal of Suzanne Turner Associates, a landscape architecture and cultural landscape preservation firm; and co-author of, most recently, Houston’s Silent Garden: Glenwood Cemetery, 1871–2009. She is cofounder of the Red Stick Farmers Market in Baton Rouge and an avid gardener.
Praise for The Garden Diary of Martha Turnbull, Mistress of Rosedown Plantation
“The editor has annotated the book with helpful explanatory notes. Sketches and photographs of the plants, gardens, and the plantation itself will likewise assist readers less versed in nineteenth-century horticulture. Although some readers may be distracted by the extensive editorial comments, most will realize that overall they enhance understanding of the diarist’s intent and motives. This volume will serve as an important addition to the libraries of those interested in historic crop cultivation methods as well as regional history.”—Agricultural History
“The coded plantation diary of Martha Turnbull, surely the greatest hands-on gardener of the nineteenth-century Deep South, is a national treasure, at last made accessible, exciting, and beautiful. Martha’s fifty-nine years as a gardener ran the gamut from camellias to cabbages. She managed the transition from grandee planter in 1836 to a determined survivor in the years of emancipation and tenancy following the Civil War. She was still setting out strawberry plants a bare two years before her death at eighty-four in 1896.”—Mac Griswold, author of Washington’s Gardens at Mount Vernon: Landscape of the Inner Man
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