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Feeding mind and body

Occasional excerpts from fertile sources.

From The Literary Garden: Bringing Fiction's Best Gardens to Life, introduction by Duncan Brine. (The Berkley Publishing Group, $21.95.)

"The tomato, fastened to stakes, will shine with a thousand globes, empurpled as June advances; see how many love-apples, violet aubergines and yellow pimientos, grouped in an old-fashioned convex border, will enrich my kitchen garden. . . . There, garden, there! Don't forget you're going to feed me. . . . I want you decorative, but full of culinary graces. I want you flower-filled, but not with those delicate flowers bleached by a single cricket-chirping summer's day. I want you to be green, but not with the relentless greenery of palms and cacti, the desolation of Monaco, that simulated Africa. Let the arbutus glow beside the orange and the bougainvillea's violet torches clothe my walls. And let mint, tarragon and sage grow at their feet, tall enough for the dangling hand to bruise their branches and release their urgent perfumes. Tarragon, sage, mint, savory, burnet _ opening your pink flowers at noon, to close three hours later _ truly I love you for yourselves _ but I shan't fail to call on you for salads to go with boiled leg of mutton, to season sauces; I shall exploit you."

_ Colette, Places.

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