The story of an unexpected friendship between two remarkable women- New Yorker editor Katharine White and southern garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence. On March 1, 1958, Katharine White published her first garden column in The New Yorker under the title "Onward and Upward in the Garden." Soon after, a reader from Charlotte, North Carolina, Elizabeth Lawrence, wrote her a fan letter filled with suggestions and encouragement. When White wrote back her appreciation, she also reported on her Maine garden and discussed the plants and books that interested her. Thus began a correspondence between the women that would last for almost two decades, the last letter written within weeks of Katharine's death in 1977. Two Gardeners is a collection of these luminous letters, edited and introduced by Emily Herring Wilson. The letters record the flowering of a friendship between these intelligent women, both avid gardeners, and readers, both at a stage of life when to make a new friend was rare indeed: when they first wrote to one another, Katharine was sixty-two, Elizabeth, fifty-four. Two Gardeners brings this unique epistolary friendship to life. Illustrated with photographs of both women, their families, gardens, and houses, plus drawings of many of the plants that they wrote about, this book should be a special treat for garden enthusiasts, literature lovers, and scores of readers who delight in reading about women's friendships.
What fate brings together two kindred spirits? In the case of White and Lawrence, it was a letter, one that launched two decades of correspondence between two extraordinary women that blossomed over time into a caring friendship.