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Old Herbaceous

A Novel of the Garden

Written by Reginald ArkellAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Reginald Arkell
Introduction by Penelope HobhouseAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Penelope Hobhouse

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fiction (12) gardening (6)
fiction (12) gardening (6)


Back in print after fifty years

Old Herbaceous is a classic British novel of the garden, with a title character as outsized and unforgettable as P. G. Wodehouse’s immortal butler, Jeeves. Born at the dusk of the Victorian era, Bert Pinnegar, an awkward orphan child with one leg a tad longer than the other, rises from inauspicious schoolboy days spent picking wildflowers and dodging angry farmers to become the legendary head gardener “Old Herbaceous,” the most esteemed flower-show judge in the county and a famed horticultural wizard capable of producing dazzling April strawberries from the greenhouse and the exact morning glories his Lady spies on the French Riviera, “so blue, so blue it positively hurts.” Sprinkled with nuggets of gardening wisdom, Old Herbaceous is a witty comic portrait of the most archetypal—and crotchety—head gardener ever to plant a row of bulbs at a British country house.

This Modern Library edition is published with a new Introduction by
Penelope Hobhouse, a renowned garden designer and lecturer and the author of numerous gardening books.


“A delightful story . . . its seriousness dispelled by Arkell’s mischievous sense of humor.” —from the Introduction by Penelope Hobhouse

  • Old Herbaceous by Reginald Arkell
  • April 15, 2003
  • Gardening; Fiction
  • Modern Library
  • $15.00
  • 9780812967388

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