louise wrinkle garden

Louise Wrinkle added native crabapples to her mother’s original sunken garden.

Reading Louise Agee Wrinkle’s book about her garden in Mountain Brook, Alabama, one is struck by her devotion, perseverance, and unfailing curiosity. Gardening is not for the faint of heart, as this book relays so well, and its success depends on many factors.

Wrinkle and “The Committee,” as she has dubbed her advisers, have taken up the challenge beautifully over the years. Her affection for the property took root during her childhood, and she returned after her parents died to take over and to make the garden her own.

As the title informs, her focus is on listening to the land, not trying to dictate. “My lifelong connection with this piece of Alabama woodland has taught me how to hear its particular voice,” she writes. In the book, she takes us along on her delightful path through that woodland. As Robert Dash wrote in Notes from Madoo, “All gardens are a form of autobiography,” and Wrinkle’s is no exception.

louise wrinkle garden

A statue of St. Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners in Louise Wrinkle’s Mountain Brook, Alabama garden

louise wrinkle garden

A crisscross pattern of Confederate jasmine graces the parking court.

louise wrinkle garden

“To gain a ‘natural look’ demands men and machines,” writes Wrinkle.

louise wrinkle book, listen to the landListen to the Land: Creating a Southern Woodland Garden by Louise Agee Wrinkle (PMT Publishing Inc. 2018)

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