A Pretty Beach author has brought lavender to life with a new illustrated novel on how to grow, care and use the popular herb.
Marian French’s ‘A Lavender Affair’ is a part-journal, part-gardening book that unpacks her experience of moving from the city to the countryside.
The book, which was released on May 15, details her journey through gardening, travelling, renovating homes and gardens, and her love of the environment.
French said she created it not just as a reference book for gardeners, but also for those looking to understand and evoke a ‘complete way of natural living’.
“A gardening book, yes, but with interspersed stories and trials that were encountered as we restored a derelict farmhouse and establish a flower farm,” French said.
“Along the way, we met with tentative locals, dealt with perverse builders and ventured into beekeeping.
“I wrote the original book in 1989, purely as a garden book, a textbook on Lavender’s cultivation.
“Through a set of unfortunate circumstances, it was never released.
“The watercolour artwork Robin has so brilliantly created for my book.
“I enjoyed writing and reliving the vibrant, emotional enthusiasm we needed in ‘bucketfuls’ to achieve what we created at Beach Farm.
“We settled into a life where each day was a new experience, nothing planned, nothing expected; more importantly, we grew to know who we were in that idyllic time.”
French said ever since she was young, she had been obsessed with all forms of plant life and critters; she later went on to become a beekeeper and a reptile handler for Wires Central Coast.
French said the book was written in a warm
“[My] biggest challenge was to introduce a personal storyline into what was once written as a Gardening book,” French added.
“A complete structural change was essential to keep the text interesting, flowing and readable.
“Whether the main characters in your story are people, animals or plants, your readers must relate to them on some level.
Media release, May 25