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Why did Marcel Proust have bonsai beside his bed? What was Jane Austen doing, coveting an apricot? How was Friedrich Nietzsche inspired by his 'thought tree'? Philosopher Damon reveals one of literature's most intimate relationships: authors and their gardens. For some, the garden provided a retreat from workaday labour; for others, solitude's quiet counsel. For all, it played a philosophical role, giving their ideas new life. With lively prose and great stories, Young shows how gardens are much more than pretty ornaments or hobbies to kill the hours. Gardens, plants and the great outdoors console or confront, calm or animate, tease or test - they can be an antidote to distraction and disorientation. This insightful guide reveals the profound thoughts and ideas for living discovered by eleven famous writers in parks, backyards and pot-plants, making it a colourful yet philosophical companion to the garden's toils and joys.