Those who have reveled in the garden writings of Katherine White, Eleanor Perenyi, Russell Page, Sydney Eddison, or Louise Beebe Wilder have two new treasures for delightful bedtime reading on the verge of spring, when gardens still lie beneath the snow in parts of the country.
Any one of the short essays from "The Gardener's Eye and Other Essays" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 282 pp., $21.95), written by Allen Lacy, a philosophy professor at Stockton State College in Pomona, N.J., and garden writer for the New York Times, will amuse, educate, titillate, and occasionally infuriate the reader. Perfect.
Fifty years earlier, Southern garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence wrote a charming, inspiring, and equally opinionated book, "A Southern Garden" (University of North Carolina Press, 251 pp., illustrated, $24.95 cloth, $16.95 paper). Unlike many gardening books that come and go quickly, hers has been in print for most of those 50 years. This special edition is beautifully, if sparsely, illustrated with the watercolors of Shirley Felts.