By: Helen L. Wilbur
Illustrated By: Robert Gantt Steele
Every child should have the opportunity to read this book with someone they love and someone who loves them. Lily's Victory Garden is in a class by itself. The story is about a young girl growing up during World War II who asks a neighbor for a small area in the neighbor’s backyard to grow a Victory Garden. The neighbor’s only son has died in World War II and the family is deeply mourning his loss. Because of this garden, Lily learns that “…the human heart is its own garden, with the same needs for care, attention and love…”. This book is magnificently illustrated with watercolors by Robert Gantt Steele. It is filled with historical information about gardening and Victory Gardens. Landreth still sells all of the seed varieties described in the book.
The book has a special relationship with The D. Landreth Seed Company because when the publishers were getting ready to print the book, they contacted Landreth to see if we had any historically accurate seed packets from World War II. We actually had antique packets from the 1940’s which we sent to them. They used the packets on the inside covers of the book.
At Landreth, we all share the belief that gardening is best learned as a child when someone who cares about that child, day by day, week by week, month by month teaches them the art, the science, the craft and the discipline of growing seeds and plants. Lily’s Victory Garden is a wonderful way to begin this relationship and to continue it for many years. Once read, this book will be re-read many, many times. The story it relates “…of loss, kindness and the healing power of nature…” is one that can be appreciated by all children and the child in each of us.