“A sumptuously written history of greenhouse horticulture.” --Entertainment Weekly
In the wake of her sister’s death and her children’s departure for college, baby boomer and journalist Ruth Kassinger found herself with time on her hands--and a lone, struggling houseplant at the top of her basement stairs. One cold, gray evening, flooded with thoughts of middle age, change, and loss, Kassinger wandered into the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory in Washington, D.C.--and a dream was born.
Dazzled by the vast, dense cascade of greenery before her, Kassinger began a quest to create a verdant sanctuary of her very own. In Paradise Under Glass, she chronicles her journey from brown thumb to green as she studies conservatories throughout history and designs her own. Her search to create her own private space offers a lively narrative tour of past and present, from the Renaissance orangeries to the glass palaces of Kew to modern high-tech marvels, and finally into her own backyard where she brings her personal Garden of Eden--complete with butterflies and a “living wall”--to life.