By Emily Williams
When Louise Wrinkle looks back on her childhood in Mountain Brook, she remembers a city far different from the one that exists today.
As early settlers of Mountain Brook, Wrinkle’s family made a home on a plot of land in 1938, when the area was unincorporated.
Wrinkle said that, in those days, Mountain Brook was “an environment of unspoiled woods and streams.”
Her home was surrounded mostly by nature, with little else in the area other than Shades Creek, The Mountain Brook Club and The Old Mill, on Mountain Brook Parkway.
Wrinkle said that, because the property was so overgrown back then, she used to call it “The Jungle.”
For the past 30 years she has lived on the same property where she spent her childhood, dedicated to maintaining the land’s woodland charm.
Her garden is the focal point of her new book, “Listen to the Land: Creating a Southern Woodland Oasis.”
According to Wrinkle, what makes her garden unique is that she “let the land speak.” She lets it take its own shape instead of imposing a design scheme.
With that in mind, the book mingles stories of her childhood, the lessons she learned and her failures and successes while working to tame The Jungle.
Wrinkle noted that the book can be used as a reference for other gardeners, no matter what their skill level.
A learned gardener who has gained international recognition, Wrinkle has included a section profiling several hundred plant species she has maintained.
Gardens Around the World
Wrinkle maintains a large presence in the gardening community at home and on a national level. She is a member of The Garden Club of America, serving as chairman of the horticulture committee and the executive committee, and she was a horticulture judge for one of the organization’s flower shows as well as shows for other groups.
One of her highest achievements has been earning the GCA’s National Achievement Medal in 2001, she said.
She also is a founding board member for the Garden Conservancy in Cold Spring, New York, and has spent many years as a board member for both the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Aldridge Gardens.
A book launch will be held Nov. 30 at the Botanical Gardens, with all proceeds from the evening’s sales donated to the gardens. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., and guests are encouraged to pre-order books by Nov. 28. The books are $35 for members or $40 for non-members. A limited number of books will be available for purchase at the event, and books will be available at Leaf and Petal following the launch.
In addition, a book signing will be held at Little Professor in Homewood on Dec. 3 from 2-4 p.m.
Books may also be purchased online at louisewrinkle.com.