In and Out of the Garden


I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Garden Week!


You’re invited to pull on your gardening gloves and dig in with some virtual gardening as we share books, tour gardens, set tables, and enjoy some garden-inspired projects & recipes this week!


 Sara Midda’s richly illustrated In and Out of the Garden has delighted readers and critics alike. Diana Vreeland praised it as “delightful and delicious,” and Laura Ashley called it “pure inspiration.”


In and Out of the Garden:

The most elegant and subtle of books to give and to have, it evokes the English gardens of Sara Midda’s childhood, sowing the imagination with glorious images. Dozens and dozens of illustrations and tender reflections recall a hut in the wood, or a topiary maze, a summer day spent podding peas, or an herb patch that yields Biblical fragrances. Ruby-red radishes are the jewels of the underworld. Myriad colors fall upon warm green moss. Painted with Sara Midda’s fine brush, it is a book of lasting enchantment.


While this book is delightful, the illustrations are tiny and the delicate water-colored calligraphied text so faint, it is a bit of a challenge to read.


But I was charmed by the illustrations and

bits of garden wisdom I could make out.


And inspired to fill a wheelbarrow with salad . . .


And the last of the violas before they expire from

the heat, to be replaced with summer annuals.



A Spring Salad of tender mixed baby greens, strawberries, blueberries, gorgonzola, pecans and edible flowers (violas, pesticide free).


Add chicken for a complete meal and serve

with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette. . .


And garden trowel servers

from Pottery Barn :)


 “This book is a potpourri of garden lore. Here are summer days of raspberry picking, swarms of bees laden with pollen, peas ripe for podding, herbs for flavouring. Every page, including the text, has been hand painted. Dip into it for recipes, poems, proverbs, and garden thoughts.”

*Strong reading glasses required :)

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for Garden Week:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm


Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Metamorphosis MondayMarvelous Mondays,

The Scoop, Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysHome Sweet Home

Tablescape Thursday, Foodie Friday

Follow NB on Pinterest

  27 comments for “In and Out of the Garden

  1. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    May 29, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Gorgeous colors in your salad Mary! I promised myself that I’d start keeping a big bowl of salad in the fridge for healthy/easy munching… Gotta work a little harder on that:@)

  2. May 29, 2014 at 6:34 am

    You always inspire us with your ideas, photos and just the presentation. I love your blog!!!!!

  3. Carolyn P.
    May 29, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Ditto what Susan Martin said! Just lovely ….

  4. Cheryl
    May 29, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Absolutely gorgeous salad! And it looks wonderful in the wheelbarrow. The book looks and sounds delightful and the two together makes for some beautiful photos. The last one was my favorite. Great job!

  5. May 29, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I love the wheelbarrow salad, Mary! Gorgeous images, as always!

  6. May 29, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Funny how i had decided to have a Chicken cashew salad for encouraged me to put strawberries and blueberries in it. Thanks! Love your post!😊🌴

  7. May 29, 2014 at 9:21 am

    The illustrations are enchanting Mary! What a delightful little treasure of a book, and I love the quote about the garden of Eden…Your salad should be in a painting, not on a table! It is wonderful in the wheel barrel, so so fun! Such a beautiful garden tribute~

  8. May 29, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I love Sara Midda. I so wish that I had the talent to illustrate the way that she does. Your salad and presentation look beautiful. Leave it to you to find a wheelbarrow serving bowl!

  9. JP
    May 29, 2014 at 10:23 am

    WOW…WOW….WOW!!! Need I say more?

  10. Ellen
    May 29, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Those adorable wheelbarrows! And that tiny spade, oh MY! I may need that lovely book and, yes, salad is on the docket for lunch! As always, a delightful presentation lady.

  11. May 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Mary, Sara Midda’s books have been a part of my library since she first published them. What inspiration for journaling!
    Your salad is picture perfect. I marvel at the clarity and brightness you achieve in your photos. Of course, the wheelbarrow servers stole my heart. This is a delicious post, my friend! It feeds my soul!

  12. May 29, 2014 at 11:16 am

    This is one of my favorite illustrated books. Her art is so charming. And of course I LOVE your little wheelbarrow!

  13. May 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Mary, I have that little book also and it is delightful. Your salad in the wheelbarrow looks like it should be on the cover of a magazine!

  14. franki
    May 29, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Those edible pansies are just perfect!! franki

  15. May 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    love love LOVE THIS! we share so many similiar thoughts on my posts to come, and out of all the pics in the book of course we share some, cracks me up! only have seconds to type, company due any minute but had a second to peek in and just had to tell you how much i love this! will be back tomorrow to really look. book club meeting tonight and i have to bake a cake still this afternoon, books are certainly keeping me busy this week!

    gushing to follow!

  16. paula
    May 29, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    ~~ Lovely MaRy~~


  17. May 29, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I was reading the lovely sentiments of the book…love the one about the bees…and then all of a sudden I see this gorgeous salad in a wheelbarrow..How so very cute!!!!…I love the garden trowel servers…have to check them out at Pottery Barn!

  18. May 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    What a lovely presentation.


  19. May 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I love the wheelbarrel sald and the salad SERVERS are fabulous!!!! I am going to search for them now. I assume you grow your violas? Do you grow them from seed??? Sun or shade? I want to try it!

  20. May 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Oh, this is beautiful! Your pansies are fresh and colorful–don’t you just hate to see them go? I tucked mine under bushes, but they look worse by the day. Your wheelbarrow and shovel are, in your hands, art and food, all at once. It’s so much fun to visit and see your creativity! The salad is so pretty and alluring (and healthy). Truly, it is like a painting. Love the pattern in the tablecloth, too. I had trouble reading the tiny print. I thought it was me! I use a magnifying glass to double check Zap’s insulin dose, so it came in handy a time or two while perusing the drawings and commentary. I’m looking forward to tomorrow (I posted early). xxoo

  21. May 29, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I went to PB site and searched for the salad servers to no avail. When did you get them? They may no longer carry them???

  22. May 30, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    i am back to savor these images, so creative of you to use the pansy wheelbarrow, i am always enchanted by the smallest details… each pic puts a smile on my face~

  23. May 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I love nothing better than a gorgeous table setting with a pretty sumer salad. So nice!

  24. June 1, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Your salad looks so yummy! I wasn’t one right now!


  25. June 2, 2014 at 5:57 am

    What a beautiful salad. Too pretty to eat.

  26. June 7, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Mary, When I was first out of school I had a trio of Sara Midda purse sized books~~a journal, an address book, and a notebook, and I carried them everywhere (pre-smartphone!). My eyes were quite sharp then and I could read the text easily. Not so much now! I wonder where my little books are now? Probably in a box in the basement! Your salad looks so delicious!! I am determined to try munching on an edible flower this summer. Linda

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