Garden Physic is a radical poetic movement through plant life. With her singular line, Sylvia Legris journeys readers through an investigation of how we articulate our ecological surrounds in language through botanical histories.
With a structure that emulates the style of classic manuscripts, Legris’s book deploys humour, deep intellect, and a fanatical obsession with the potential of language, punching through the cliches of contemporary nature writing. A brief snapshot:
‘how to write about flowers without the nauseating sentimental phraseology?
No quaint, no dainty, no winsome. This smells good, that smells bad, my hands
rank with manure. This at least is pure.’
The whole book is a glorious meditation on the garden and the power of plants: how they can heal us, emotionally and physically, and how we communicate with them.