Promotional material for the book describes it as:
The story of the creation of an extraordinary garden that has been
painstakingly and lovingly brought to life over the past ten years by
the Pollards, who prefer to garden au natural. It will appeal to both
experienced and aspiring gardeners everywhere.
but that hardly does it justice. Ian Pollard and his wife Barbara have spent years restoring the historic Abbey House Gardens in Wiltshire, England in attire that would no doubt have shocked the monks. The BBC’s Alan Titchmarsh described Ian this way:
in the middle of a rose bed, his long, flowing hair fastened back in a
pony tail, his face adorned with a grizzled beard he wore of pair of
knee length boots and a pink silk jock-strap. Nothing else! But if you
are looking for the non-naturists stereotypical view of a nudist you
will not find it in Ian. It is quite simply that he prefers to wear as
little as possible, and is comfortable enough in his own skin to be
unconcerned if it is seen by others.
Well, all right. "Unconcerned" is one thing. That makes it sound as though he wouldn’t be shamed right back into his trousers if a group of tourists happened to peek over the hedge. But appearing nude on the cover of a book called "The Naked Gardener" shows a decided interest in being seen by others.
(And that pink silk jock strap is an image we could have done without. Surely the clever gals at Womanswork could have fashioned something a little more sturdy and garden gear-ish to do the job.)
Although we haven’t seen a copy of the book ourselves, we were able to page through a few virtual pages at the publisher’s website. And if this whets your appetite for nude English gardening, you’re in luck: the Pollards would love to have you come visit, and the Events page of their website advertises several clothing-optional days.
And hey, with summer just around the corner, you know we’re up for running any naked gardening photos you want to send our way. Extra credit for creative use of power tools (now, now, girls!) and daring pruning shear maneuvers.Posted by Amy Stewart on March 29, 2007 at 5:09 am, in the category Everybody's a Critic, Shut Up and Dig.