Click here to donate
About us


The Alan Chadwick Archive: "Everything That Is Real Is Secret"

Alan Chadwick pruning in Covelo, CA
IMAGE CREDIT: Chris Tebbutt

The Alan Chadwick Archive has released a series of recorded interviews with Bernard Taper and Chadwick, titled "Everything That Is Real Is Secret." The following is excerpted from material at

In 1978 Alan Chadwick—Master gardener and mentor to EA Director John Jeavons—was nearly seventy years old and living unhappily in a small house in Napa, California. He was without a garden and was feeling stranded and enclosed by suburbia. At this time he was visited by Bernard Taper, biographer of Pablo Casals and George Balanchine, writer for The New Yorker magazine, and professor of journalism at UC Berkeley. Taper planned to write a two-part piece on Alan for The New Yorker and to follow up with a Chadwick biography. Those writing projects never materialized. The audio tapes made of the meetings, however, have survived. There are many, many hours of them, and they provide a rich source of information, both about Chadwick’s life and biography, and about his philosophy and approach to nature. Throughout, Chadwick is characteristically difficult, cantankerous, unpredictable, rambling, tangential, but also warm, entertaining, funny, with passages of sublime visionary reverie. Amongst other things, the tapes are a testament to Chadwick-as-visionary. Taper is at first caught unawares. Nothing he has heard about Alan quite prepares him for what he meets. Taper is warm, gentle, intelligent, cultured and above all diplomatic. Chadwick gradually lets down his guard. It is wonderfully entertaining stuff.

After Taper passed away, his son Mark generously allowed The Alan Chadwick Living Library and Archive Project to copy, digitize, and display these materials online, free to the public at The hope is that in the future, Alan will continue to inspire others to pursue truth, beauty and goodness, both in the garden and in their lives

top | Newsletter Home |Table of Contents| Archive

Please donate $40 to our 40th Anniversary Fundraiser! Click here to donate!