Edna Walling designed over 300 gardens between 1920 and 1960 when most women were homemakers. Today her gardens are still considered to add value to real estate. Her achievements and the gardens themselves are well documented. Despite the fact she was a self-publicist and very unusual woman in her time, Edna's private life has remained a mystery....
|Title||:||The Unusual Life of Edna Walling|
|Number of Pages||:||362 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Unusual Life of Edna Walling Reviews
What a fabulous read! I'm going to track down her works when next home in Melbourne. The last couple of pages finally present her as a person, often difficult to establish her true personality throughout the book, I thought. Such a great read. What a talented woman, especially during times when women's talents weren't necessarily applauded. Can't wait to see her creations.
I did a couple of things last year which I have never done before. One was to join a book club. I thought it might propel me out of my reading comfort-zone into new, and perhaps rewarding, areas. I was right. Here are some thoughts about the first book proposed for this year, "The unusual life of EDNA WALLING" by Sara Hardy.This is a biography. Most Australians will have a kind of sepia awareness of the famous garden designer, but I feel that awareness declines sharply with the passing of time. An “Edna Walling garden” is a well-known phrase, but I have never known exactly what it was supposed to mean, other than a naturalistic look, perhaps with judicious use of native plants.“The unusual life of Edna Walling” by Sara Hardy, is a thorough exploration of Edna’s life. She was born in Dorset and came to Australia with her family in. I wondered why we pronounce her name, Walling, as if it were “Wolling” to rhyme with the first part of Collingwood. English usage would appear appear to rhyme with “calling”. I have decided to go against the flow until I find evidence one way or the other. We seem to call “Calder” and “Maldon” “colder” and “Molden” respectively – and that is certainly incorrect.The book is good. The prose style is informal and even chatty, with generous conjecture and speculation, always respectful of its subject. We follow the young Edna, and get a sense of developing purpose in her life. It is even easy to see that her modern TV and cable equivalents have absorbed much of her style, updated of course.This begs the question of period, and it is here that the book is so valuable. It is a fine social history, integrating this well-researched life into the fabric of early Melbourne. It is notable that so many of the early movers and shakers were English, bringing skill and expertise in the various arts of civilisation to a land which had so recently been a colony.Although the evolution of Edna’s professional life is interesting, it is only part of the story. The other part is Edna’s personal life and the story of those who shared it. It is in this area that Sara Hardy shines. Chapter 6, “Love”, in particular is a sensitive and thoughtful analysis of female friendship at this time. In doing so, Hardy draws a well-judged picture of the social milieu allowing us to better place Edna’s own place in it. From this point the biography unfolds in a way we can understand, without being coerced to any particular point of view.Such letters as survive are presented with an even-handed approach, and occasional brusqueness or pique are likewise admitted. The photos are excellent and form a good supporting narrative. The result is a portrait missing quite a few details, but where the main outlines are clear enough to enable us to fill them in. All in all, a nice surprise and a warm reading experience.
Would like to visit one of Wallings garden designs in Victoria. An interesting read about the garden designers life and relationships.