A Green and Pleasant Land, Ursula Buchan
How England's Gardeners fought WW2 with Ursula Buchan 10/10/13
In A Green and Pleasant Land, Ursula Buchan tells the evocative and inspiring story of how the British authorities encouraged citizens to contribute to the war effort by producing their own fruit and vegetables. Launched at the outbreak of the conflict, the ‘Dig for Victory’ slogan was emblazoned across millions of posters and leaflets encouraging the cultivation of any available patch of land. Fired by enthusiastic patriotism, the British people tackled wartime gardening with thrifty ingenuity, invincible humour and extraordinary fortitude. However, as Buchan reveals, this simple act of turning over soil and tending new plants was also a powerful factor in mitigating the psychological shocks endured by the population. Gardening reminded Britons that their country, and its more innocent and insular pursuits, were worth fighting for. Gardening in wartime Britain was a fight for freedom.
Ursula Buchan studied modern history at Cambridge University, before training as a horticulturist at the RHS Gardens, Wisley and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She wrote a gardening column for a succession of national newspapers, including the Observer, Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph, as well as The Spectator, for more than twenty-five years. She has published fifteen books and won three major writing awards from the Garden Media Guild. She was recently awarded the Garden Media Guild's Gardening Columnist of the Year 2011.