Garden Writer Allen Lacy, 1935 – 2015

Allen Lacy died this past Sunday at the age of 80. He was my favorite garden writer: funny, smart, gentle, possessing a passion for plants and an affection for people. I’ve read his book Home Ground several times.

I was lucky enough to interview Allen Lacy back in 2013. This seemed like a good time to reblog that post.


The interview below was posted in June, 2013. I was surprised and honored to see it referenced in Mr. Lacy’s New York Times obituary, but I think it may have been one of the last interviews given by the author. 

I became acquainted with Mr. Lacy online after he wrote mea friendly note in response to a book review I had written. After this interview, we exchanged a few more emails and then lost touch. 

Allen Lacy is without doubt one of my favorite garden writers. For roughly forty years he has written about plants and gardens with passion, knowledge, and gentle (often self-mocking) humor. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including Home Ground, In a Green Shade, The Garden in Autumn, Farther Afield, and The Gardener’s Eye. For a dozen years he wrote a newspaper column on gardening…

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43 Comments on “Garden Writer Allen Lacy, 1935 – 2015

  1. He was also my favorite garden writer. I met him once when he came to Seattle. I’m sad that he has passed away.

  2. I owned The Garden in Autumn and did enjoy his books immensely.

  3. Wonderful interview! He seems a like wonderful person. I love that gardening was his school punishment rather than something else less effective. Check out my Garden Love column. 🙂

  4. Well done, what a great interview. I have his book The Garden in Autumn which I like very much. What an interesting man.

  5. Thanks for sharing this Jason. I was especially interested that he mentioned NC connections. Will have to look up his books. Happy New Year.

  6. I’m sorry to hear this, Jason. But I want to thank you for that 2013 interview; it inspired me to read some of Allen Lacy’s work, which added greatly to both my garden education and my pleasure. .

  7. I’m sorry to read your post but glad to be aquatinted via your original post. I had not heard of Allen Lacy before, he sounded a very fine man and gardener. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  8. Sorry to hear about Allen Lacey. I haven’t read all of his books but this makes me think I should. A nice goal for the new year. Happy New Year!

  9. An interesting interview. Allen Lacy, whose name I knew but had not read, sounded like a wise and funny man. Wouldn’t it be great if more children were “punished” as creatively? We might have more gardeners.

  10. I was lucky enough to receive one of his books as a Christmas gift (my honey knows me so well). These winter days will be rich in wit and wisdom.

  11. How sad to see he’s passed away, and it seems too soon. The Garden in Autumn has been one of my favorite books for years and I love the mix of facts and story.
    Have a great 2016!

  12. Jason, thank you for sharing your interview with Allen Lacy. His books “The Garden in Autumn” and “Gardening with Groundcovers and Vines” deeply influenced not only my garden style, but the humorous aspects of being a plant addict. Wonderful interview!

  13. What an interesting man. I did enjoy your interview with him. What an unusual start too!
    All the very best to you and yours Jason. Happy New

  14. If a seed planted bears fruit, all sacrifices are worthy. Only met Allen Lacy today but the fruit … is discovering gardeninacitt!

  15. I’ve been fortunate to have read a lot of good books over my lifetime, but Home Ground made an indelible impression on me over thirty years ago with its wonderfully rich blend of humor and horticulture. What a legacy!

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