Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence

Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence

Playwright and actress Ann Preston Bridgers founded Raleigh Little Theatre. Elizabeth Lawrence was the first female to graduate from the landscape design program at what is now North Carolina State University. Elizabeth was struggling to make a career when there was little work for landscape designers, especially women. She and Ann, who had a talent for mentoring, struck up a friendship in the early 1930s that endured until Ann's death in 1967. Ann guided Elizabeth to write articles for the new women's magazines. By 1942, Elizabeth was so successful that her classic "A Southern Garden" was published, and she became one of America's best garden writers. Edited by Emily Herring Wilson, "Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence" features their correspondence. Elizabeth wrote about family, friends, books, plays, travels, ideas and writing. Through the letters, readers glimpse what life in a Southern town was like for women, especially during the 1930s and 1940s, and learn about gardening, friendship and the lost art of letter writing. "Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence — Discovered Letters of a Southern Gardener" is hardcover, 224 pages, $19.95.

Editor's note: Today, you can visit the garden Elizabeth made at her Charlotte home, as well as another garden and bird sanctuary just up the street created by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson. For more, visit www.winghavengardens.com

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