Nasturtiums to please the eye, tease the nose and startle the tongue, a fountain made from a pot from the discount store, seashells, a bit of sand, a mirror square. There you have it--a pocket Alhambra, your own beach fir the vacation you spend at home with good books, music, a dish of sherbet drenched in rose brandy.

Speaking of books, DIARY OF A ROSE LOVER, by Henri Delbard has a recipe for rose brandy--add 100 grams of sugar, 100 grams rose petals to a bottle of brandy and allow steep for three weeks. Serve fruit sherbet. Delbard also offers a recipe for stuffed zucchini blossoms cooked in mussel broth that has been flavored with rose butter. In addition, he also offers a recipe for salmon in rose butter. Besides recipes, Delbard writes about a gardens designed to engage the five senses. He is passionate about the beneficial role of nature in our lives and he is equally passionate about roses. His text and Florence Moireau make this an essential book for rose enthusiasts.

THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS, Iranian American Anita Amirrezvani's first novel deals with other kind of gardens --those depicted in Persian carpets. This is a beautifully wrought story about strength, creative and the role of women in Seventeenth Century Persian society. Not to be missed.


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