A Green and Pleasant Land: How England's Gardeners Fought the Second World War

A Green and Pleasant Land: How England's Gardeners Fought the Second World War

by Ursula Buchan


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"War is the normal occupation of man—war and gardening."  —Winston Churchill

A Green and Pleasant Land tells the intriguing and inspiring story of how Britain's wartime government encouraged and cajoled its citizens to grow their own fruits and vegetables. As World War II began in earnest and a whole nation listened to wireless broadcasts, dug holes for Anderson shelters, counted their coupons, and made do and mended, so too were they instructed to "Dig for Victory." Ordinary people, as well as gardening experts, rose to the challenge: gardens, scrubland, allotments, and even public parks were soon helping to feed a nation deprived of fresh produce. As Ursula Buchan reveals, this practical contribution to the home front was tackled with thrifty ingenuity, grumbling humor, and extraordinary fortitude. The simple act of turning over soil and tending new plants became important psychologically for a population under constant threat of bombing and even invasion. Gardening reminded people that their country and its more innocent and insular pursuits were worth fighting for. Gardening in wartime Britain was a part of the fight for freedom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780099558668
Publisher: Random House UK
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ursula Buchan wrote a gardening column for a succession of national newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, the Sunday Telegraph, and the Spectator, for more than twenty-five years. She has published fifteen books and won two major writing awards from the Garden Media Guild. She was recently awarded the Garden Media Guild's Gardening Columnist of the Year 2011.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Weights, Measures and Money x

Introduction 1

1 The Scene is Set 5

2 What Happens Now? 26

3 Dig for Victory! 44

4 Women and Children Go to It 84

5 Groundwork 110

6 Talking of Scarlet-Veined Beet 133

7 The Old Order Changeth 159

8 Far Messier and Different 187

9 A Refreshment of the Spirit of Man 205

10 Gardening Behind the Wire 223

11 Animals in the Back Garden 237

12 Fiercely Stirring Cauldrons 249

13 Keeping On Keeping On 275

Select Bibliography 301

Notes and References 309

Acknowledgements 339

Index 341

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A Green and Pleasant Land: How England's Gardeners Fought the Second World War 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an citizen of the United States, I had not considered the toll the 2nd World War had placed on the availability of food in Great Britian and the United Kingdom. Although I believe someone more intimately connected to Great Britian would like the attention to detail the book offers, I am very glad I read it.