f o r e wo r d
When my husband Michael Malone and I first came househunting in Hills-
borough, North Carolina, I was interested in the town very specifically be-
cause I knew there was a famous garden there—Nancy Goodwin’s Mon-
trose. That we subsequently bought the property adjoining Montrose was
a source of joy to me, for gardens are among the great pleasures of my life.
The day we moved into Burnside, our new home, I went to the phone book
to look up the number of Montrose. The number wasn’t there. Nancy Good-
win had closed the nursery that I had been hoping to use to stock my own
new garden. Sadly ready to make do with other sources, I was driving off to
purchase plants one morning when I passed a small sign on a brick pillar.
Craning my neck as I drove along the walled road past the entrance, I felt
a little like Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost. I was looking in on Paradise, but
was able to see only the tops of delicious trees and the sides of the verdant
slopes. Worse, unlike Satan, I could not, however willing to do so, “oerleap
all bound.” Montrose was an Eden and I was outside it.
As it happened, because Hillsborough is a town of many extraordinary
artists, like Ippy Patterson, like Nancy Goodwin herself, a month later I
found myself invited to tour the gardens at Montrose. Learning of my inter-
est, novelist Allan Gurganus asked Michael and me over for drinks to meet
Nancy and Craufurd Goodwin. The evening was a wonderful occasion, and
although we later went to dinner at a fashionable restaurant where nobody
could hear anyone else, we struck up a rapport, and have happily become
over the years good friends as well as neighbors. Shortly after our meet-
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