Thursday, March 17, 2016

Friends Writing Good Books: Lida Inge Hill

Journal of a Cottage Garden

Lida Hill with copies of her book
I met Lida Hill at the SPAFER RoadHouse study group that meets once a month (the group currently meets at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Cahaba Heights at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month). I was surprised to learn last summer that she had a book about to hit the press. The book, Journal of a Cottage Garden, is a beautiful work that combines her artistic talents in water colors with her love of gardening. One learns quite quickly that she has a preference for native plants over more exotic varieties.

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens blog featured Lida and her book last September. In that article she states,

Having taken a course, "Journaling with Pen and Watercolor," I decided to create a journal showing the trees and shrubs in my yard. In it I would distinguish between the native and non-natives. I wanted to have a conversation starter to share my new passion. Of course the only way to include names and text in a blank, spiral, watercolor journal was to use my own handwriting/printing. People who saw it convinced me to publish it. Now that the one book has become many, I have a larger audience. As I write and give programs, I share my enthusiasm with even more people.  

A page from her journal

From the author's promotional statement:

Lida Hill’s passion for native plants inspired the journey from personal journal for family and friends to published journal for an unlimited audience. “Journal of a Cottage Garden” is a watercolor journal in the artist’s own handwriting featuring familiar trees and shrubs found in many Southern gardens. With homespun humor, Lida gives facts, personal comments and Latin and common names of 30 plants she shares her home with. Identifying which ones are native, she writes about the value for our environment of the natives over non-natives often noting the invasive ones.

A Gardener's Inspiration

I was given a copy of Ms. Hill's book after working with her on a photo shoot to help her get a shot for her book cover. My wife especially loved the layout of the book and the information that the author shares. We live in a cottage on a corner lot, and my wife has directed me in many landscaping and planting endeavors. Lida's book provides a "blueprint" so to speak, of her own landscaping at her lovely cottage. She then has page after page written in her own hand and illustrated with her own water color paintings of plants from her yard.

Signed copies of Journal of a Cottage Garden can be purchased in Birmingham, AL at The Dandelion, Crestline Pharmacy, Leaf and Petal at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Little Hardware and the Birmingham Museum of Art. It is also available at the Goat Hill Museum Gift Shop and Old Alabama Town in Montgomery as well as shops in upstate New York. Personalized signatures can be ordered through

Another example of the author's work

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1 comment:

  1. That looks like a great book. The graphics are beautiful.


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