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SD HORT BOOK CLUB: July Book - In Praise Of Tomatoes By Steven Shepherd & The June Book Report

By Karen England.

Next Book Club

July 26, 2021

5 pm

on Zoom

In Praise of Tomatoes

by Steven Shepherd

We will be joined by the author's widow for this book discussion that will be moderated by member Linda Canada.

All SD Hort Book Club members will be emailed the book club meeting Zoom link after the July General Meeting has taken place.

Guests are welcome and anyone may join - send an email to with the subject BOOK CLUB

SD Hort Book Club meets the LAST Monday of every month on Zoom at 5 pm.


Last Book Club Report:

Elizabeth and Her German Garden was published anonymously in 1898. Elizabeth von Arnim, born Mary Annette Beauchamp in Australia, continued to publish simply as “Elizabeth” following the success of this, her debut novel.

The book covers a year in the life of the author - Elizabeth - a wealthy Englishwoman living with her German aristocrat husband on his country estate - 'The Man of Wrath'. Her three children are also not named and called the April, May and June babies. During the course of the year Elizabeth plans her garden and its planting, and deals with household matters including the servants and visitors to their home.

“The longer I live the great is my respect and affection for manure in all its forms . . ."

- Elizabeth and Her German Garden

In the ITV series Downton Abbey, in the second episode of the second season, Joseph Molesley, Matthew Crawley's valet, lends a copy of Elizabeth and her German Garden to the head housemaid Anna Smith, as a tentative romantic gesture.

Karen England
That's not Elizabeth, that's Karen England with her Heirloom Hollyhocks this past June.

In reading this book you will meet Elizabeth and discovered there is no greater happiness to be found than when lost in a wilderness of a garden, with bird cherries, lilacs, hollyhocks and lilies crowding the vision. The garden is her sanctuary from a host of unreasonable demands, whether from her husband, babies, servants and (worst of all horrors) house guests. After having plunged into her charming diaries you won’t be able to remain indoors.

The response from the SD Hort book club to this book was mixed, either it was loved and awarded two thumbs up by those who enjoyed it or it was not enjoyed and even not finished by others who gave the book a thumb down or just abstained.

After much tabulation of the votes, and a big swig of a strong cocktail, the SD Hort Book Club gives this book an average of the votes - 👍 one thumb up.


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