A Haven for Vee

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Branch and Hedgerows

Funny little story for you...not ha ha funny necessarily, but you will be able to call me Dorothy after this.

I was visiting *Brenda at Coffee Tea Books and Me* one day recently where she was discussing Susan Branch's new book A Fine Romance. Brenda wrote about the book in such glowing terms that I promptly ordered it using my daughter's card. Ahem. That doesn't sound good, but my daughter knew all about it and has already been paid.

My daughter had also ordered books and I ordered other books and they came as they were ready and not all in one delivery. A Fine Romance was in the delayed category and so, as my mind is wont to do, it forgot. Not I forgot; my mind forgot. Right. That makes me feel better.

Anyway, one day I heard a rap at the door and it wasn't the sheriff this time and so I collected a package addressed to my daughter. Said package sat on my kitchen table for the remainder of the week with me wondering when daughter would arrive to pick it up. Then my mind clanked into gear and I began to wonder if that book looked like the right size to be... Hmmm... Could it? Should I open the package to find out? I could just lift that bit there.  I'd hate to be caught snooping. (Not that that has ever happened before!)

Sure enough. My book was sitting there all that time. I could have been reading it for days!

A book review? I don't usually give them, but I will say that this book is a delightful, easy read. You will appreciate the details of the journey that Susan shared bits of on her blog over a year ago now. You'll find yourself grinning as you imagine trying to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road while a passenger wishes to test your powers of concentration. Cracked me up! Then I would read and be grateful that I have recently watched so much television from the BBC because I understood whatever was being discussed a little better.

Take for instance hedgerows. Because I've watched Tales from the Green Valley and Edwardian Farm (Episode 3, minute 47) where the process of making hedgerows was shown, I could appreciate the discussion and the photos. I had so enjoyed watching the pulling brush over and piling it high with bracken and pinning it in and the creating of this incredible organism where wild flowers, berries, and small animals live.

I asked John, "Why don't we make hedgerows in this country?" He said, "Because we use barbed wire." Isn't that charming? Not. Yet, I discovered that we do have some hedgerows in the U.S. *here,* just in case you're interested in making one. And here's *another great UK site*  about creating hedgerows where I learned that not all hedgerows are created in the same ways. It depends on its location.

But back to the book where there's everything one could possibly hope to enjoy about time spent in England — tea, recipes, friends, flowers, Beatrix Potter, poetry, shops, ships... and all written in that lovely print that is Susan's signature style. You'll leap merrily through going from hedgerows on one page to magnetic soap on the next. Go ahead, order one, if you haven't already. Put it on your daughter's card.

P.S. Just popping in two Susan Branch book signing sightings:
1. Karen at A Scrapbook of Inspiration
2. Relevant Tea Leaf

Such fun to see!


  1. I have always loved Susan's work and did not know about this book. Thanks for sharing the review; I'll put this on my wish list!
    Wishing you a nice day.

  2. Cute story Vee! It looks like a delightful read indeed, I will have to look it up. I just purchased a book to read, so it may have to go on the back burner for a bit. Wouldn't it be fun to drive by hedgerows thru the countryside? I know I'd enjoy it!

  3. Cute! I will have to look for that book. Thanks for sharing. Have a great Thursday (already?)! Blessings

  4. thats a good one on you! lol,

  5. That is funny! It's a good thing you "snooped", isn't it? ;)
    Thank you for that review. Off to Amazon to make sure it's in my cart...

  6. Vee, thanks SO MUCH for sharing this with us. I've already pinned this to my Pinterest account; I have a birthday coming up soon, and I plan to order this book! I can tell this is something I would absolutely love. This has made my day! I'm glad you decided to unwrap the package. :-D I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one whose "mind forgets things."

    Have a wonderful day, Vee.

    Hugs to you,

    Denise at Forest Manor

  7. Better late than never....I ordered this book after reading Brenda's post about it and have been really charmed. I can't seem to read much at one sitting, which is probably all to the good. And I haven't read the hedgerow bit yet. But I will this morning! Years ago, when I was a garden writer for a little local monthly magazine, I bought the book Hedgerow by Eric Thomas and John White. (I notice used copies are available for 98cents plus s&h). It traces the life of one particular hedgerow from Saxon times to now. And I have a hedgerow around a lot of my back yard. Just one made from letting things grow there......And some of it has elderberry (which volunteered) and a few herbs. It's controlled by mowing the grass. And some has shrubs which the neighbors like, too.....My lot is an acre and a half so there is lots of open area too. But this sort of wilder area is wonderful for the birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

  8. It does sounds like a lovely book. I have always likes Susan's style.

  9. Well, I'm glad it wasn't the sherriff knocking at the door! When you showed the photo of the inside page of this book I knew I had to have one. I'm going to check out Chapters tomorrow then maybe order it online if it's not there. We have lots of hedgerows here but not along the roadside as in England. I love their narrow "B" roads with the hedgerows along them. There's no place to pull off and meeting another vehicle can be tricky in spots. Here, all the fields have them to divide crops or properties, along with barbed wire in some cases or cedar rail fences. They are getting overgrown now with trees and bushes, wildflowers, weeds, and rocks, and old cars and parts too. Perhaps rolls of old rusty barbed wire, metal barrels, skulls of long gone cows. (yep) That's what I have seen in the hedgerows around us over the years. They're almost a dumping ground. Great post! Thanks for the book review.

  10. It's on my wish list but I know I would love it! I have 4 sons.....which one should I charge it to? heehee! Enjoy your day and thanks for a beautiful review with a little fun....and funny humor to start my day! Sweet hugs!

  11. Hedgerow I've heard about, but magnetic soap...?
    That's got me wondering.
    The book looks and sounds delightful.
    Thanks for the review.

  12. The hedgerows in England are something to see. I'd like to duplicate them here, as they are so much friendlier than barbed wire! If you look on my blog sidebar you'll see a blog entitled Welsh Hills Again. In her current post Elizabeth shows the hedgerows she's been nurturing.
    On another note - just how familiar are you with the sheriff?!

  13. The book sounds good, I will look for it...AND! believe it or not I do occasionally put it on my daughter's card, haha. She does insist!

  14. I still have a Barnes and Noble gift card that I've been saving for something special. This book is special and I've been thinking of getting it. I love Susan's books. If B&N doesn't have it, I'll just use my daughter's card and tell her you made me do it!

    Now then, what is that about a sheriff???

  15. How timely as my daughter left her card on the side table in the family room and she's fast asleep! :)
    This really would be a fabulous book to read on the plane. I'm going to see if I can get it in time...
    Ha! Wasn't the sheriff this time!!
    I will be on the lookout for a Hedgerow...I see a post with your name on it in the future! (that is if my mind doesn't forget!)

  16. Well, your story was a "ha ha" story for me - you made me giggle :) I don't think I have ever read anything by Susan Branch so now I am quite intrigued and will have to check the book out :) So glad you shared! Have a lovely day. Hugs!

  17. You both have truly convinced me I need to definately own this book!

    What a cute post, Vee- you have such a wonderful way with words.


  18. I would love to put this book on my daughter's card--what a good idea! ;) I do plan to order it on my own later this month. Thanks to your recommendation I found and watched the Edwardian Farm series and enjoyed it very much. It's always good to get news about all kinds of things to appreciate and enjoy; it makes the world a nicer place.


  19. Well good timing! I need to get some good reads and DVDs for our upcoming week of sloth, aka timeshare week.
    Hope our library has them...it usually has everything. I am spoiled!

  20. Ha ha Vee, we're all wondering why you thought it could have been the Sheriff at the door. :-). Great book review, I just happen to be in Chapters sipping a pumpkin spice latte so will have a look for the book.
    We have hedgerows separating fields here too, and as a matter of fact I wrote an article on them once.

  21. Funny girl!! I love Susan Branch's work anyway so I will definitely check this out...thanks for the book review..and the laugh...you are too funny..
    Love, Mona

  22. I'm so looking forward to getting my own copy. It looks so wonderful.

    And hahaha about 'forgetting' who ordered what! At least it finally clicked.

  23. Funny you should write about this (well, forget coincidences in blogdom, they are givens) but we have acquired an Amazon gift card and this is the first thing I'm buying when it comes, We've also purchased one for a birthday gift for a friend who was in England at the same time Susan was and I got her reading Susan's blog to compare notes on their travels! So she should love the book! Nice to hear an endorsement though.... first printing is out already.

  24. I will have to check out that book, looks charming.
    My hubby and I were just discussing hedgerows the other day, after watching Edwardian Farm, of course. So much prettier than barbed wire! ;D


  25. HI Vee! Oh my goodness, I could just see myself doing the same thing. Completely out of my mind, so not putting the package and the book together at all.

    Good think you thought to check! So glad you like it so well. Sometimes getting a book recommendation really works out!

    Happy Thursday,

  26. I love reading your posts!! You are so REAL and charming!
    If I didn't live in the USA I would want to live in England.
    Your blog looks so fall-ish! LOVE the header. You are so good at doing yours.
    I always need help. Amber just redid mine for me - after I had messed it up pretty badly!

  27. Love that it sat there for a while before you had an inkling that it might be your own! lol We had some hedgerows in PA, too, when I was a kid growing up. They did a great job of keeping cattle in the field-as good as a barbed wire fence.
    Loved this post, Vee. Hope you are having a great day- xo Diana

  28. Oh, I'm so glad you read the book. I enjoyed it, too, and like you, appreciated the hedgerow construction that I saw in Tales from the Green Valley. Such amazing fences.

  29. I will have to get this...it will take me back to our time there...just hearing the word hedgerow made me smile...I haven't written of our years in England in so long perhaps it is time...thanks for the recommendation

  30. Oh that looks like a beautiful book! So glad you eventually opened the package and shared this with us! Maybe Ellen will take lots of hedgerow pictures when she's on her trip to England soon (but not her hair - smile). England is on my bucket list. Hmmm - wonder if I could turn the tables to have my daughter let me use HER card sometime instead of the other way around ....just saying!

  31. Vee, that book sounds like such a pleasure. I am going to put it on my wish list! :-)

  32. The book looks very attractive, like the pictures.

  33. I love visiting your blog and always wish that I had your gift of writing/storytelling. I'm going to order the book.

  34. I will order her book....if for no other reason than loving her art work. :)
    Actually, I love everything she does.

  35. Susan Branch is one of my favorite authors! I love her style and presentation. Her new book sounds absolutely like a must-have. Audley will be thrilled to hear that. LOL Thank you for sharing it!!


  36. That sounds delightful. But first I need to find a daughter to adopt, LOL.

  37. Cute story Vee! I've always enjoyed Susan's books and this one sounds like a good read. I'll put it on my wish list!

  38. My son used my Amazon account (but with his credit card) until he moved away from home.

    Which is why on my Kindle Cloud list, it shows I watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey via Amazon. It took me awhile to figure out it must have been the newlyweds watching it on their computer before switching to their own account.

  39. I spent some time this morning, just browsing through your blog and enjoying each and every moment. I've been away from blogging for a few months and it's time to return and get caught up again. Summer has seemed extra busy! I chose this post to write my comment on because I recently finished A Fine Romance as well. Such a delightful book!!! Enjoy a happy day!

  40. Susan was in Kansas City last night signing books, but I don't like driving in the city after dark. Am I getting old or what!


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