The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder
The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder tells the tale of the plants and places of the beloved author of the Little House series. The series chronicled frontier life starting in the late 1860s. The classic books are both a coming of age story and a reflection of the pioneer spirit of the time. They are also deeply rooted in the natural world—the plants, animals, and landscapes are integral to the stories. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder considers Wilder’s life and her relationship to the natural world. Looking into Wilder's world also illuminates our own relationship to the nature, family, and memory. Featuring original art by Helen Sewell and Garth Williams and historical images, maps, botanical illustrations, and contemporary photographs.
Marta's book All the Presidents' Gardens relates the history of American gardening as seen through the White House grounds. It made the New York Times bestseller list and won an American Horticultural Society book award in 2017. Following the relationship between the pen and the trowel led Marta to children's author/illustrator Beatrix Potter and Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life was published in 2013. It won the Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association in August 2014 and is in its sixth printing.
Marta teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden where she has been twice awarded "Instructor of the Year." A popular lecturer, she has been a featured speaker at locations ranging from the Chicago Botanic Garden to the Smithsonian Institution to the Beatrix Potter Society's Linder Lecture at the Sloane Club in London. In 2018, Marta will be the Gardener-in-Residence at the Emily Dickinson Museum.
Marta interned at Wave Hill, Frelinghuysen Arboretum, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Rosemoor in Devon, England and at the Chelsea Physic Garden. She worked as a horticulturist for five years at Reeves-Reed Arboretum. Marta is on the Board of the NJ Historical Garden Foundation at the Cross Estate in Bernardsville, NJ. She received the 2016 Annual Award from the Friends of Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Her garden is included in the Smithsonian's Archive of American Gardens.
Her husband, Kirke, summed up Marta's bio as "I am, therefore I dig."
"McDowell’s warm descriptions of the author, her times, and the plants she loved provide a wonderful companion to Wilder’s books, while instructions on growing a Little House–inspired garden add an interactive component. Gardeners, botanists, and fans of Wilder will love this book."--Publishers Weekly
"This well-researched, sweeping book details the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and those who came before her."
--Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal
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