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June 30, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

DEEP IN THE GARDEN: An Exploration of Country Pleasures by Anne Raver, illustrated by Sally Mara Sturman (Vintage: $13; 280 pp.). In these columns from the New York Times and Newsday, Raver reflects on the pleasures of gardening. She copes with "helpful" friends who dismiss each other's advice and attempts to preserve her family's Maryland farm from weeds and ruin. Looking out from her Long Island home, she comments, "I see where my garden leads--down the path and through the woods and across the water, and who knows, to other continents and other forests, where leaves and plants are doing nature's business--and, just as a sideline, giving us life." Although she occasionally discusses the special problems of gardening on the Eastern Seaboard, her love for plants and the soil transcends geographical limits.

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