347 pages, b/w illustrations
Ruth Kassinger was at an emotional crossroads. Confronted with the death of a beloved sister, her children's departure for college, and her own recent battle with breast cancer, she was searching for a way forward. Then one cold, gray evening, she wandered into the U.S. Botanic Garden's conservatory – and a dream was born.
Dazzled by the vast and dense tangle of greenery, Kassinger decided to create a verdant sanctuary in her own home, even though the sum total of her previous indoor gardening experience was one neglected houseplant at the top of her basement stairs. In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth chronicles her journey from brown thumb to green, while sharing the knowledge and insights that creating and sustaining her fabulous garden has bestowed – lessons of loss and letting go, nurturing and rebirth, challenge and change, love and serenity.
"My favorite gardening book of the year"
- Carol Stocker, Boston Globe
"The book vividly chronicles her [Kassinger's] initiation into the world of indoor gardening as well as the fascinating and unlikely histories of greenhouses and the flamboyant gardens they have housed [...] The characters Kassinger encounters, literarily and in the flesh, are as quirky as their plants. [...] Kassinger's lush writing and exotic stories will delight the armchair gardener and historian."
- Publishers Weekly
"A sumptuously written history of greenhouse horticulture."
- Entertainment Weekly
"Ms. Kassinger's writing is chatty and intimate, but she has clearly done her library research."
- International Herald Tribune on Paradise Under Glass
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Ruth Kassinger is the author of Paradise Under Glass, as well as a number of award-winning science and history books for young adults. She has written for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Health magazine, Science Weekly, and other publications.