First Person

In Australian Country Gardens

Percy Grainger loathed the popularity of his arrangement of the traditional air “In an English Country Garden” because it overshadowed his other works: “A typical English garden is most likely to be a vegetable garden rather than being used to grow flowers,” he complained, “so you can think of turnips as I play it.” In Australia, too, in his day it was common to grow both vegetables and flowers, in city and country, particularly in hard times. From colonial times English settlers created gardens, sometimes grand ones, to help make themselves feel more at home. I once visited an old…

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