Digging up paradise

Every once in a while you read a book that speaks to your heart. For me, Sarah Salway’s books always do. Her latest, Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes, People and Poetry in the Garden of England, is another gem. Salway takes us along on her visits to twenty-six public gardens in Kent. Together we find seashells, wildflowers, vegetable patches, magical trees, eccentric hedges, ancestral woods, the loveliest castle in the world… all the while, feeling the grass under our feet as we listen to ‘strawberry-shaped words’, peculiar tales and enchanted histories. Her poem “Night Grass” (about Doddington Place) is so beautiful, I want to hang it on my wall as a gatha that I can come back to again and again. And then there’s her “Letter to a Stranger”, which whispers to me like the wind: ‘not every day needs a destination, or to make sense’.